VARSITY College athlete Ben de la Porte powered to a personal best time to claim the title at the 10km 2019 KZNA / DSR Youth Run at Kings Park on Saturday.
De la Porte was careful not to chase the early rabbits who started fast and set an unrealistic blistering pace at Kings Park on Saturday mornings. His decision to run a controlled race from the start paid off as he crossed the line in 31 minutes 16 second, 35 second ahead of Amajuba Athletic Club’s Kabelo Hlahane with Koos Molutsi (Nedbank Running Club) third, another 21 seconds further behind.
The girls’ race was a surprise triumph for Simangaliso Madlala who also produced a quick time of 38.23 on the flat beachfront route. She only just edged out Xulu Andiswa, who was just three seconds behind at the finish, with Sisanda Sikhakhane 12 seconds further back in third.
“The race was very fast but I just tried to do my best,” said Madlala after crossing the line and discovering, to her surprise, she was the winner. “I did not know that I was winning.
“This is the first time that I have ever won a race. It was a hard race but I am very happy to have been able to win.”
De la Porte was happy to have led home the field of about 6 000 entrants and particularly happy to have been able to run his fastest 10km time ever.
“I am very happy … this is a PB by almost a minute, so I am very happy with how it went,” said De la Porte. “It was very tough. I started off a bit more controlled because the start at this race is always very fast, so I had to start more controlled and then build into it.
“Luckily I was able to maintain my pace through to the finish. I was running with the second-placed guy for about seven kays and I just tried to keep the pace steady. Luckily that worked out for me.
“Some guys started fast and were a bit ahead, and you never know when the guys go off very fast if they are going to maintain that pace, but you just have to hope.”
The KZNA / DST Youth Run is the traditional pre-Comrades 10km and 5km run held the day before the annual 90km ultra-marathon between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The event is hosted and sponsored by the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation and KZN Athletics.
1 Ben de la Porte 31.16
2 Kabelo Hlahane 31.51
3 Koos Molutsi 32.12
4 Lungani Ngcobo 32.22
5 Sanele Masondo 32.30
6 Bonginkosi Mabuyakhulu 33.08
7 Thulasang Khambule 33.15
8 Sthembiso Mntambo 33.35
9 Madauli Halami 33.47
10 Mzakhelwane Siyaya 34.01
1 Simangaliso Madlala 38.23
2 Xulu Andiswa 38.25
3 Sisanda Sikhakhane 38.37
4 Bongekile Manyoni 39.29
5 Paige Mckenzie 40.27
6 Nonjabulo Xulu 40.55
7 Caroline Stuurman 40.55
8 Slindile Ximba 41.42
9 Olwethu Dlamini 42.46
10 Andiswa Mthembu 42.50