Sipho Mbanjwa and Janet Mbhele doubled up over the weekend and rushed back from impressive results at the South African Half Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth to claim the men’s and women’s victories respectively at the UKZN Campus to Campus 10km races in Durban on Sunday.
Both the two winners of Sunday’s Campus to Campus 10km were clearly in a class of their own as they powered away from the big field in the race from Howard College on Durban’s Berea to the Westville campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
On Saturday Mbanjwa set a personal best time of 64 minutes at the national half marathon championships in Port Elizabeth, and he proved his good form once again on the hilly Campus to Campus route just 24 hours later.
The undulating route through the Durban suburbs proved tough for many athletes, but Mbanjwa was never daunted until the final brutally steep climb up to the finish. He finished in a time of 31 minutes and 38 seconds with Bonginkosi Zwane claiming second, 16 seconds behind while Ndumiso Sokhela was another seven seconds further back.
“Just after halfway I saw that the other guys in the lead group were struggling,” said Mbanjwa after the finish. “So, up the Sherwood climb I put in some surges and only two guys were able to respond.
“Then, after about five and a half kilometres I went all alone and ran home by myself. But the last hill just here near the finish almost killed me. I almost walked, yoh it was steep. But then I looked back and saw the other guys are coming and I thought: “No, I must maintain!”
“I am very happy and excited about my victory today. Yesterday I ran the SA half marathon and I did my personal best time of 1:04:21 for the 21km, so it has been a good weekend,” added the Phantane Athletic Club athlete, who was also the winner of the Deloitte Challenge Half Marathon in Durban earlier this year.
In the women’s race Janet Mbhele’s victory was never in doubt as she led from the gun. The Umzimkhulu Athletic Club athlete finished in a time of 35.47, with Loveness Madziva (38.11) and Sosibo Cacisile (40.53) filling the minor positions.
Mbhele also had little time to recover from her flight back from the Eastern Cape as the Umzimkhulu resident blitzed to a fifth position in the women’s race of the SA Half Marathon Champs. She finished that 21km in 1 hour 12 minutes.
There were over 3 000 entrants for the first-time event which was the brainchild of KZN Athletics President Sello Mokoena but was organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Full results: https://results.finishtime.co.za/
Leading Results: UKZN Campus to Campus
1 Sipho Mbanjwa 31.38
2 Bonginkosi Zwane 31.54
3 Ndumiso Sokhela 32.01
4 Nkosikhona Mhlakwana 32.38
5 Wiseman Mthemba 32.47
6 Maradonna Ngcobo 33.28
7 Ayanda Ngcobo 33.46
8 Mosola Mokane 34.02
9 Mzwandile Latha 34.18
10 Sekhonyana Mahlomola 34.45
1 Janet Mbhele 35.47
2 Loveness Madziva 38.11
3 Sosibo Cacisile 40.53
4 Zama Mokoena 41.14
5 Siphesihle Ivirn Mabaso 41.35
6 Janene Carey 41.49
7 Fikile Mbuthuma 43.07
8 Alison Uys 48.18
9 Nontsikelelo Mbambo 49.30
10 Babongile Memela 50.19