Big win for the City

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - By STEPHEN KIS­BEY-GREEN

Af­ter months of prepa­ra­tion for the GBS Mu­tual Bank Moun­tain Drive Half Marathon, run­ners fi­nally as­cended Moun­tain Drive on Satur­day 25 Au­gust in their at­tempt to conquer the moun­tain. More than 400 run­ners, and one dog, took off from Graeme Col­lege to tackle the tough 21,1km route.

Af­ter only an hour and seven­teen min­utes, the first run­ner made his way back to the fin­ish line, tak­ing first place in the men’s cat­e­gory. Me­likhaya Frans, from Port El­iz­a­beth, crossed the fin­ish line run­ning back­wards, af­ter re­al­is­ing that he was the win­ner.

“The race was easy,” said Frans, “es­pe­cially the first seven kilo­me­tres. Af­ter 15km, I started push­ing to catch the guy who was in front.”

“I am so happy [to win the race], be­cause I am com­ing back from an in­jury, an ITB (il­i­otib­ial band) in­jury, so I am happy that I re­cov­ered well,” said Frans.

Frans is busy pre­par­ing for the SA Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships, in Port El­iz­a­beth on 8 Septem­ber, be­fore head­ing to Mpumalanga for the SA 10km Champs at the end of Septem­ber.

In the women’s cat­e­gory, it was Ntombesintu Mfunzi who came home first, af­ter lead­ing the en­tire race. “I en­joyed the race, be­cause I knew com­ing here that I was go­ing to take it easy as part of a long run,” said Mfunzi.

Mfunzi used the GBS Mout­nain Drive as her last long run in her train­ing for the Cape Town Marathon on Satur­day 28 Septem­ber.

This was the first year that GBS Mu­tual Bank had come on board as a spon­sor, with the Ro­tary Club of Gra­ham­stown Sun­set or­gan­is­ing the whole event.

Al­bany Saints and Sin­ners Mul­ti­sport Club also as­sisted in plan­ning and or­gan­is­ing the race, and as­sisted as mar­shals on the day.

The or­gan­is­ers of the 2018 event had a lot of work to do to im­prove on the suc­cesses of the pre­vi­ous years, and the high num­ber of run­ners proved that their hard work paid off. In ad­di­tion to the over 400 run­ners on the route, there were a num­ber of friends and fam­ily mem­bers soak­ing up the at­mos­phere and the fun sup­plied by Round Table at the fin­ish line at Graeme Col­lege.

Photo: Stephen Kis­bey-green

Over 400 run­ners took on the chal­lenge of con­quer­ing the moun­tain in the 2018 GBS Moun­tain Drive Half Marathon on Satur­day 25 Au­gust.

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