Fun run first for Phakama club
The Phakama Athletics Club hosted their first annual road run on Saturday with 100 sports enthusiasts and professional runners participating.
Club chair Simon Jongile said the race was a success and he was happy to have runners from several towns including Whittlesea, Cacadu, East London, Cofimvaba and Gcuwa in attendance.
Jongile said the race, which this year included a 6km and a 12km run, would be downgraded to 5km and 10km in the future as these were the officially recognised international distances.
“This particular race was a preparatory one and an introduction to what is yet to come in the near future. We hope next year we will have more people participating, especially the locals, because it is in their town and therefore their support is important to us.”
Avid Cofimvaba runner Muhle Fanteni, who also participated in the Twizza Bonkolo Marathon earlier in November, was the overall winner of the 12km race.
Fanteni said he was happy to have won and that he had prepared well for the race by participating in several marathons.
“This was a good race to prepare me for the upcoming Heroes Marathon in Mthatha on December 1. I had a good run and all I need to do to keep winning is to maintain my speed.”
Sive Tshokotsha and Zukile Vellem were second and third respectively. Zukile Mapoyi won the 6km run for adults and Avela Nazo won the same race in the junior category.
“Parents and teachers need to encourage children to participate in such events so they can grow up loving sports. Races like this one are important, especially for children who love athletics and cross country,” Jongile said.
“The mistake they make is to only start training when the athletics season starts at schools. If a child joined an athletics club and trained regularly they would do well.”
He said the lack of business support was also disappointing and he hoped this would change in the future.
“We will continue knocking on their doors until they recognise us and support what we are trying to achieve with this club.”
Jongile thanked all the sponsors who supported the race for their contributions.
OFF THEY GO! Runners take off in a fun run organised by the Phakama Athletics Club in Komani
GOT THIS: Winners of the Phakama Athletics Club 12km road run on Saturday in Komani were, from left, the overall winner Muhle Fanteni, in second place Sive Tshokotsha and in third place Zukile Vellem