Red-hot Hejana leaves ‘bus’ gasping
HEAVY rain last year, hot and humid this year and yet race times at the Xerox Lightening Fast 10km were very similar – even where the actors may have been different.
A strong bus of men went out hard with Luthando Hejana having said he was going to run easily with his Real Gijima’s juniors. However, he might have looked around at the start and changed his mind.
A very fast first kilometre put serious pressure on some of the young men who went out with him and as a result they paid the price.
Last year’s winning time of visiting runner Amos Nyongo, of Ikhamvu AC was 30:49 with Hejana beating that by 14 seconds.
Last year, Easy Equities Born 2 Run’s Ntobeko Xiniwe was second and again this year it was a Born 2 Run athlete, but a junior, Lithobe Menzeleleli, who was the runnerup in 32:44, with Nkosinathi Nzingo of Nedbank third.
Malixole Kalideni of Old Selbornians followed, chased by three Born 2 Run members – Nikelo Lolwana, Athe Sikwezi and top masters runner Makaya Masumpa.
In comparing racing conditions, it is interesting that Masumpa finished in 35:03 which is five seconds quicker than last year. His clubmate Rodwell Sims was the second master home.
The top veteran runner was Mndeni Zulu of host club Oxford Striders. He ran superbly in recording a 35:37 finish ahead of Overtakers top athlete Xolile Maschicila.
Stephanie Smith brought her outstanding year’s racing to an end on yet another high, winning in a personal best time of 37:14.
She has run personal best times over every distance from 5km through to the Comrades Marathon.
Caryn Lategan proved that she is well and truly back to racing after a long lay-off due to injury. Lategan was second in 40:09, beating off the challenge of Old Selbornian Andrea Ranger who edged her last year. Ranger finished in 40:51.
Top veteran Karen Davis finished third overall and was followed home in the age group by her Born 2 Run colleagues Michelle Conroy and Janet Kieck.
The top master was no surprise with Run/Walk for Life’s Sharon Wood cruising to a win.
Sinovuyo Mafu of Born 2 Run was the first junior woman home.