Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 145, Sept/Oct 2021 | Page 13


Our Athletes Spare Nothing at Spar !

You can find more info on the Murray & Roberts Running Club via our Facebook page or our website .
Seven athletes in the top 25 , three category wins and the club points victory ! That ’ s the spoils from the six-race SPAR women ’ s 10km Challenge 2021 for the black & yellow !
Kesa Molotsane
Cian Oldknow
Kyla Jacobs
Tayla Kavanagh
Judy Bird
Charné , Janie and Enie on the podium
Images : Carl Fourie & courtesy Murray & Roberts Running Club , Nontu Mghabi

The Murray & Roberts Running Club produced its strongest showing since its inception at the COVID-19-enforced , compressed SPAR series and dominated the concurrent Grand Prix points standings . Free Stater , Kesa Molotsane won a whopping R90,000 for her runners up spot after a superbly consistent showing , taking five top five places and finishing on 129 points .

The ever-improving Cian Oldknow nabbed fifth after producing personal bests in virtually every one of the races , culminating in a fast 34:28 clocking at the Gqeberha race . Kyla Jacobs took ninth place overall , and despite only running three races , Tayla Kavanagh finished 12th in the standings , producing a scintillating 32:51 PB on a very windy three-lap course in Gqeberha , the fastest time run by a South African thus far in 2021 .
Nontu Mghabi
Durban ’ s Janie Grundling never achieved anything less than a second step on the podium in the Veteran category , and in the absence of an injured Charné Bosman , took the 40-49 category victory . Bosman , the 2016 Comrades champ , finished second , with Enie Manzini making it a black & yellow clean sweep . In fact , the top five in this category were all from Murray & Roberts !
Marili Munnik was third in the overall GP standings in the over-50s , while the highly impressive ( and super-quick ) Judy Bird twice broke the SA Record for 10km in the 60-69 age category , running 40:19 in Cape Town and 40:13 in Durban , on the way winning all six her races by the proverbial country mile . The black and yellow Grand Masters also did the clean sweep as Karen Brough was second and Grace de Oliveira third . And in the Junior category , the Murray & Roberts Vorentoe Academy star Naledi Makgatha won handsomely , having completed only two races , with Rylee Challenor second and Kira Ribbink fourth on the sliding scale Grand Prix list .
And the Award Goes To …
The Club competition was a rout , as Murray & Roberts won going away , compiling 731 points to finish a whopping 126 ahead of the nearest competition . “ If this was the Oscars , we would have won all the categories : Best actor , supporting cast , script , sound , score and screenplay , best technical design and best feature . It really was the supreme performance . Our runners were tough and uncompromising , yet loved spending time in each other ’ s company after not being able to race and socialise for so long ,” said club chairman , Ed Jardim . “ As for the management of the team , Dana Coetzee and his squad left no stone unturned for all our athletes to perform to the max ... and they did ! So , I guess that means we win the best director award , too !”
Nontu finishes gruelling Marathon Des Sables
Extreme marathoner Nontu Mghabi completed the exacting Marathon Des Sables ( MdS ) this month , crossing the finish line in 45 hours to not only become one of a handful of South Africans to have completed this monster six-day race in the Sahara Desert , but also one of the very few runners on the planet who has knocked off this gruelling race as well as completing seven marathons on seven continents .
Covering 251km , the MdS is contested over the distance of six standard marathons in southern Morocco , with a longest single stage of 91km . This endurance battle is run in extreme heat and very sandy conditions , and has earned its reputation as the toughest foot-race on earth . Participants carry their own equipment , including food , camping materials and survival gear , along with water rations supplied by the race organisers . Finishing in 13th place overall , Nontu has raised money for various charitable projects in her quest to run all over the world , from helping to build classrooms to providing food in the townships .