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14 January 2019

The newly launched Murray & Roberts Running Club had the best ever club debut in South African road and track running, clocking up more than a dozen top three spots this weekend.

The black and yellow team made its first appearance ever on the podium at the 26th annual Eersterust road race with Lesego Hlako (95:56) nabbing the women’s title and Vuyisile Tshoba (79:27) taking second spot in the men’s half marathon on Saturday morning. Veteran runner, Jaco Brummer, took second in his category over the 10km distance.

Later in the afternoon, the club clinched the top step at the Central Gauteng Athletics track and field league meeting, when Kabelo Melamu hit the tape first (14:25) over the 5000 meter distance, while his teammate, Ithumeleng Sesiko (15:10), took fourth and Dylan van der Merwe (15:12), taking fifth.

On Sunday morning, the team announced its arrival at Gauteng’s biggest half marathon, the 18th edition of the Dischem in Bedfordview, in a big way. Here the team provided the first and second places in the men’s race and filled four of the top five spots in the overall women’s results. In the men’s 5km, it was Kabelo Melamu who took the win, with Sesiko in second, to cap a great weekend’s 5km performances. National champion, Kesa Moletsane, won the 5km women’s race. Shanley Koekemoer took third for Murray & Roberts, leading the way for the next five places for the Bedfordview based club. 

In the men’s half marathon race, Philani Buthelezi, clocked a fine winning time (68:44) on this tough and demanding route. Benedict Moeng (70:06), took third. Thulane Magagula (73:12) was the first veteran (over 40), finishing seventh overall in.

The Murray & Roberts women’s team clinched from second through to eighth in one fell swoop. The 2016 Comrades champion, Charné Bosman (81:28), finished second. This also gave Bosman the top step in the Veterans section. Olympian, Christine Kalmer (82:52) finished third, Yolande Mclean (83:04) fourth, Leilani Scheffer (86:12) fifth, Mia Morrison (89:04) sixth, Danette Smith (90:07) seventh and Salome Cooper (90:42) in eighth. Cooper and Mclean’s great runs meant that the Murray & Roberts team also took the Veteran’s women’s prize. Karen Brough (1:43:03) and Graeme Mccallum (89:04) also contributed to make it a superb performance for the black and yellow team, by finishing second and third respectively in the Masters (over 50) category.

In the Cape, Nolene Conrad was victorious in the Bay to Bay 15km event (54:37), with another Murray & Roberts athlete, Ulrika Stander, who took the runner up spot in the 30km event (2:03), as well as wrapping up the first veteran’s prize in the process.

Club Chairman, Ed Jardim comments: “To say we are delighted is putting it mildly. On our launch weekend we provided podium finishers in every major road race in South Africa and that stretched all the way through to the CGA track league meeting to Dischem. If this is the standard that we have at the start, look out for us at the majors later on in 2019.” 

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