Nodolo, Mkhize are Best of Best champs

Mpontsho Nodolo and Ntokozo Mkhize both produced perfectly paced runs in Durban to take the victories ahead of a big field in the 42,2km races at the KZN Best of Best Marathon on Saturday.

Ndolo crossed the line in a quick two hours 22 minutes and 58 seconds to score a home-club win for the race organisers, Ama-Ravens Athletics Club. He beat Sphamandla Nyembe by just over a minute after the runner-up was credited with a time of 2:24:09, with Ncedisani Phungula taking third in 2:29:48.

Ntokozo Mkhize.
Photo: Tim Whitfield

The women’s race looked like it was going to be a tight dice for the finish with Mkhize and Nalicy Chirwa matching each other stride for stride until the Arthur Ford Athletics Club athlete was able to up the pace over the final few kilometres.

Her strong finish allowed Mkhize to cross the line in 2.45.29, just over three minutes ahead of Chirwa (2.49.01) who runs for the host club, Ama-Ravens. Janie Grundling from Murray and Roberts AC claimed third in 3.09.10.

While the women’s race was a tight tactical affair for much of the 42,2km distance, the men’s race turned into something of a one-man time trial after Nodolo broke away about halfway around the first circuit of the two lap course. Just after the leading group turned back towards the start finish for the first time, Ndolo was able to ease away from the rest of the early leaders and then steadily open a lead as the chasers failed to close him down again.

Initially there was some confusion regarding the second finisher with Nyembe (Hollywood Bets) eventually being credited with the runner up position in time of 2:24:09 and Ncedisani Phungula taking third with a time of 2:29:43.

In a tight 21,1km half marathon, Munyaradzi Tari just edged out Ayanda Mncube with both being given the same time of 1.05.16, while third-placed Siyabonga Nkonde crossed the line just 19 seconds back.

Mpontsho Nodolo.
Photo: Tim Whitfield

The women’s half distance event was won by Simone Verster in 1.26.17, which put her three minutes clear of Nomthandazo Mlotshwa, while Karen Sobrino claimed the final step of the podium with a time of 1.31.41

In the 10km Adam Lipschitz (29.18) was just too quick for Sibusiso Kubheka (29.36) with Henri Schoeman (30.04) taking third. The women’s 10km was won by Tayla Kavanagh (34.18), almost a minute ahead of Thobile Mkhize (35.13) with Noluthando Sikobi (35.55) rounding out the podium.

For a first-time event, there was a remarkably big entry of 2 500 runners, with the bulk of the field aiming to qualify for the Comrades and Two Oceans Marathons by taking part in the full 42,2km marathon distance. Eventually 825 runners beat the five-hour Two Oceans cut off while 790 of those were able to dip under the 4:50 mark which is also good enough to earn a place on the start line for the Comrades in June.

Full results at

Leading results

1 Mpontsho Nodolo 2.22.58
2 Sphamandla Nyembe 2.24.09
3 Ncedisani Phungula 2.29.48
4 Menzi Mtolo 2.32.06
5 Temo Ramapuku 2.32.26
6 Mthetheleli Mngaka 2.32.52
7 Garikai Madawo 2.33.45
8 Sandile Wrongturn Blose 2.34.24
9 Nkosinathi Ngcongo 2.34.47
10 Bongani Qongqo 2.35.09

1 Ntokozo Mkhize 2.45.29
2 Nalicy Chirwa 2.49.01
3 Janie Grundling 3.09.10
4 Louren Snello 3.10.49
5 Lieketseng Molefe 3.16.14
6 Annemie Taljaard 3.16.38
7 Lisa Collett 3.17.16
8 Carey-Lea Tarboton 3.19.08
9 Ithabeleng Tankiso 3.29.33
10 Melanie Van Rooyen 3.30.08

Hillcrest Villagers teammates Thanda Mbatha (purple wig) and Sibusiso Mabilsa.
Photo: Tim Whitfield


1 Munyaradzi Tari 1.05.16
2 Ayanda Mncube 1.05.16
3 Siyabonga Nkonde 1.05.35
4 Bonginkosi Zwane 1.06.15
5 Anele Dlamini 1.06.54
6 Bonginkosi Mavuso 1.07.24
7 Mxenecelwa Miya 1.07.27
8 Peete Maphephe 1.11.26
9 Bongelan Mkhwanazi 1.11.51
10 Zolani Dlamini 1.11.51

1 Simone Verster 1.26.17
2 Nomthandazo Mlotshwa 1.30.28
3 Karen Sobrino 1.31.41
4 Lineo Lebotha 1.32.03
5 Zanele Mchunu 1.33.07
6 Busisiwe Chamane 1.34.17
7 Allson Uys 1.34.24
8 Bibi Bassa 1.41.35
9 Margaret Mwandla 1.41.46
10 Yolande Foure 1.43.01

Enjoying the cool weather on the Durban beachfront on Saturday were (from left) Sibusiso Ngobese, Innocent Mbatha, Nkosi Shelembe and Zwe Madlala.
Photo: Tim Whitfield


1 Adam Lipschitz 0.29.18
2 Sibusiso Kubheka 0.29.36
3 Henri Schoeman 0.30.04
4 Siyabonga Ndlovu 0.30.18
5 Vumani Mlaba 0.30.38
6 Phiwokuhle Notshutshu 0.30.54
7 Maribe Tshiamo 0.31.35
8 Simphiwe Zulu 0.31.38
9 Wisesman Mthembu 0.31.57
10 Thulisang Khambule 0.32.05

1 Tayla Kavanagh 0.34.18
2 Thobile Mkhize 0.35.13
3 Noluthando Sikobi 0.35.55
4 Zama Mokoena 0.39.00
5 Slindile Biyela 0.39.37
6 Slindile Hlatshwayo 0.39.53
7 Janene Carey 0.40.03
8 Sarah Kirk 0.40.09
9 Shani Silver 0.42.41
10 Melody Olivier 0.42.49