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2019 COMRADES MARATHON TOP CONTENDER PROFILES

31 May 2019


The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is pleased to announce a strong contention of both South African and International athletes in the 94th edition of The Ultimate Human Race.
 
With more than R4-million in prize money, Sunday, 9 June 2019 will show us who truly rules the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal.
 
Men:
Bongmusa Mthembu
Mthembu will undoubtedly be the main man to watch at the 2019 Comrades Marathon after his fabulous win at Two Oceans in April. His flawless victory en-route to Durban last year saw him become the first South African athlete since the legendary Bruce Fordyce (1988) to win back-to-back races. The 34-year-old won a bronze medal at the IAU 100km World Championships staged in Croatia last October. In addition to his three victories, Mthembu has another four gold medals to his name and will be on the hunt to become the first athlete since Stephen Muzhingi to win the race three times in a row.
 
Nao Kazami
Japanese ultra-runner, Nao Kazami holds the World 100km record of 6:09:14 which he achieved last year and will run his first Comrades Marathon this year. Kazami knew nothing about the Comrades Marathon until he met the South African contingent at the IAU 100km World Championships. Kazami is hoping to finish in 6th position as the prize money will cover his travel costs.
 
Gift Kelehe
The 38-year-old is eager to return to the winner’s circle after romping to victory in the 2015 edition. Kelehe fancies the Up Run and will be looking to add to his haul of six gold medals. The hills of Dullstroom will provide a stern test for Kelehe as he prepares for another crack at the title along with champion coach, John Hamlett.
 
David Gatebe
2016 Comrades Marathon Down Run Winner and record-holder David Gatebe managed to sneak into the top ten last year with an eighth-place finish at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. He will have fresh memories of his last Up Run which did not go to plan, claiming a silver medal in a time of 6:12. The record-breaking achievements from 2016 catapulted his career and he knows a win in 2019 will further cement his status as a Comrades great.
 
Steven Way
The British athlete reached the podium last year, coming home third behind Joseph Mphuthi for his second gold medal. Way is a seasoned ultramarathoner with victories at the World 50km Championships and the Stockholm 100km under his belt. His Up Run PB is 5:49 and he will have to shave a fair amount off that time to get into genuine contention. He is a massive fan of the Comrades and will arrive in South Africa with his game face on. 
 
Hatiwande Nyamande
With 2 Gold and a Silver in the 2017, 2015 and 2013 races respectively, the 40-year old Zimbabwean is aiming to do better in this year’s Comrades after not finishing last year’s race. Having claimed 3rd position in 2015 and 2nd place in 2017, Nyamande is one to watch.
 
Teboho Sello
Since winning his first gold medal back in 2015, Sello has established himself as a genuine top ten contender. He won back-to-back golds in 2017 and 2018 and if all goes his way on the day, he could be a possible contender for a lofty podium finish. He came second at the Lesotho High Altitude race last December. He did so in a blistering time of 2:30, suggesting he will be well prepared to go the distance at the 2019 Comrades.
 
Joseph Mphuthi
The 41-year-old stunned the field to finish as runner-up last year. It was Mphuthi’s third gold medal and his best performance yet at the race. Mphuthi may be nearing the end of his running career but he will certainly savour an onslaught on the podium once again. He won the Sasol Marathon in February in a brisk time of 2:27’. Expect him to be right up there, pushing for honours.
 
Ludwick Mamabolo
The 2019 edition will mark seven years since Ludwick Mamabolo claimed his only Comrades victory in the 2012 Down Run. He has collected another four gold medals since, taking his total tally to seven. Mamabolo finished fourth in the 2017 Up Run and the man from Limpopo will be desperate to add an Up Run title to his name.
 
Marko Mambo
Mambo has bags of ultra-running experience and will be 47 by the time he lines up at the 2019 Comrades Marathon. He showed last year that he remains a fierce competitor with a fifth-place finish in a time of 5:37. His only finish in the Up Run came in 2017 when he came home in 11th. As his career starts to wind down, he will be eager to add an Up Run gold to his pair of Down Run golds.
 
Mike Fokoroni
Since making his race debut back in 2015, Fokoroni has struggled for consistency, notching up two gold medals from seven starts. He has proven though that he can make the top ten going up to Pietermaritzburg and down to Durban. Fokoroni can be unpredictable but if it all clicks on the day, he will be among the top runners.
 
Gordon Lesetedi
Lesetedi broke into the top ten for the first time in his fifth attempt last year, finishing sixth in a time of 5:39. Coached by the experienced John Hamlett, Lesetedi enjoyed a tough training camp in the mountains of Dullstroom. The Safety and Security Officer at Entsika is now 35 and will be hoping his maiden gold last year will serve to ignite his career.
 
Edward Mothibi
Mothibi claimed an incredible fourth place on debut last year in a time of 5:36. As an unknown quantity over the ultra-distance he surprised many en-route to Durban. His aim now is to add back-to-back gold medals to his name. He was the first South African home in 6th spot at the Soweto Marathon in November last year and with a strong group of runners around him from the Nedbank Running Club, expect Mothibi to be in the thick of things again this year.
 
Women:
Ann Ashworth 
Ashworth shocked the field to win the 2018 race with a tactical and composed performance. She subsequently left her career as an advocate to run full time ahead of the 2019 race. Ashworth is in good form and achieved a marathon PB of 2:35 at the Valencia Marathon in December.  A genuine contender to become the first female to win back-to-back races since Elena Nurgalieva.
 
Gerda Steyn 
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise from amateur to professional in the space of just five years. After finishing as runner-up last year, Steyn took a six-week break from the sport before preparing to tackle the New York Marathon, finishing 13th in a PB of 2:31. The 2018 and 2019 Two Oceans winner has made it clear, her goal this year is to claim a maiden Comrades Marathon title.
 
Camille Herron 
Herron was left gutted just weeks before last year’s race as injury robbed her of a chance to claim back-to-back victories. It has been two years since her big win but the raging crowds and electric atmosphere which greeted her at the finish at Scottsville Racecourse will serve as a huge motivating factor as she prepares for a comeback. Last December she set a new 100-mile record at the Desert Solstice Track Invitational. As the reigning Up Run champion the 37-year-old is a genuine title contender. 
 
Charne Bosman 
The 2016 Down Run winner has proved to be one of South Africa’s most consistent athletes in recent years. She has five gold medals from six starts at Comrades. She is now 43 but there are no signs of her powers waning. She won the Johnson Crane Hire Marathon in January and the Om Die Dam Marathon in March. Bosman is in red hot form and is a genuine contender to win the race.
 
Devon Yanko 
American, Devon Yanko’s Comrades journey began back in 2012 when she came fifth on debut. She then took a four-year break from the race but returned over the last two years to earn another two gold medals. Three starts and three top ten finishes. She won the Oaklands Marathon in a time of 2:43 in March. An accomplished runner who knows what it takes push for a win.
 
Danette Smith
A newcomer to the sport of ultra-running, Smith claimed a gold medal on debut in 2017. She could not back that top ten-finish up last year but will return in 2019, quicker and fitter than ever before. She enjoyed an encouraging start to the season, winning the Kango Caves and West Coast Marathons.

 
Other Elite Males:
Race No. First Name Surname Country Running Club
6839 Geoff Burns USA  
8440 Robert Laing GBR  
16186 Reginald Poopedi RSA Alpha Centurion Runners And Walkers
14237 Elijah Kanyenda RSA Chiltern Athletic Club
51475 Best Ngwenya RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
46216 Claude Moshiywa RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
13592 Malusi Dlomo RSA Nedbank Running Club KZN
15984 Steve Hobbs RSA  
26805 Renier Grobler RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - AGN
25035 Wayne Spies AUS  
19647 Stimos Ntuli RSA Middelburg Marathon Club
23363 Bulelani Mgubo RSA Buffalo Runners Athletics Club
23638 Phalang Mosiea RSA Hollywoodbets Athletics Club
25972 Andrew Magoleng RSA Team Vitality - AGN
24186 Gilbert Mutandiro RSA Century City Running Club - WPA
24505 Vuyani Magadlela RSA Nedbank Running Club Western Province
25341 John April RSA Nedbank Running Club SWD
40534 Moeketsi Moses Mosuhli LES Nedbank Running Club Lesotho
37924 Fanuel Mapamura ZIM Hollywoodbets Athletics Club
42604 Mabhutile Lebopo LES Nedbank Running Club Lesotho
37865 Adoro Lephethesang LES Nedbank Running Club Lesotho
34081 Fritjof Fagerlund SWE  
35053 Anda Lubelwana RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - WP
35871 Elov Olsson SWE  
51488 Mzwenkosi Mjaja RSA Nedbank Running Club KZN
20594 Alexio Phiri RSA Hillcrest Villagers Athletic Club
53424 Pelly Lamola RSA Polokwane Athletic Club
16064 Lindikhaya Mthangayi RSA Nedbank Running Club Western Province
45015 Lovers Hlatshwayo RSA Nedbank Running Club LVCC Nelspruit
29375 Sage Canaday USA  
55925 Stephen Muzhingi ZIM F1 Bluff Meats Running Club
32547 Sbonelo Dlangamandla RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
59833 Tumi Malefetsane LES Sibanyestillwater Athletic Club
29076 Nao Kazami JPN  
27548 Mahlomola Sekhonyana RSA Phantane Athletic Club
53216 Monyele Monyele LES  
37554 Warinyane Lebopo LES  
58655 Lovemore Chabata ZIM  
37547 Sootho Raletebele LES  
31422 Lyno Muchena ZIM  
29140 Winfred Mutiro ZIM  
29174 Ilja Nikolajev EST  
29181 Teboho Noosi LES  
29226 Siyabonga Sakwe RSA Nedbank Running Club Western Province
29704 Bonginkosi Zwane RSA Phantane Athletic Club
51526 Sipho Ngxongo RSA Phantane Athletic Club
29066 Thobani Chagwe RSA Nedbank Running Club KZN
31340 Ben Matiso RSA Brimstone Itheko Sport AC
30787 Justin Chesire KEN  
40607 Melly Kennedy KEN  
30818 Canisious Nyamutsita ZIM  
 
Other Elite Females:

Race No. First Name Surname Country Running Club
16868 Nandi Zaloumis RSA Boxer Super Store
12381 Sophia Sundberg SWE  
30062 Kate Rees RSA Wanderers Athletic Club
20680 Janine Rawlinson RSA Wanderers Athletic Club
15312 Heather Fell GBR  
18360 Aigul Mingazova RUS  
19733 Alena Rybkina RUS  
44555 Lisa Collett RSA Crusaders Running Club
25882 Cajsa Berg SWE  
54048 Janie Grundling RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - KZN
26314 Chrissie Wellington GBR  
24647 Jacqueline Kellerman RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
26489 Ulrica Stander RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - WP
29167 Catrin Jones CAN  
19157 Stellar Bhengu RSA Team Vitality - CG
29538 Katerina Kasparova CZE  
21233 Caitriona Jennings IRL  
42796 Ntobezentu Mfunzi RSA Nedbank Running Club Eastern Province
21237 Dominika Stelmach POL  
 
Elite Teams:

Race No. First Name Surname Gender Country Running Club
42405 Jenni Kruse W RSA Massmart Athletics Club - CG
483 Ann Ashworth W RSA Massmart Athletics Club - CG
5445 Mia Morrison W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
29121 Renata Vosloo W RSA Massmart Athletics Club - CG
47013 Calvin Malatji M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - Limpopo
57282 Kerry-Ann Marshall W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
29483 Timothy Munzhelele M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - Limpopo
12683 Melissa Jansen Van Vuuren W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
30929 Gerda Steyn W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
55780 Fikile Mbuthuma W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
10862 Deanné Horn W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
13899 Joseph Manyedi M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
50472 Motsamai Rantho M RSA Maxed - Gauteng
36361 Siyabonga Dingile M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
45047 Ludwick Mamabolo M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
17472 Edward Mothibi M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
30461 Professa Mthethwa M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
16524 Jenna Challenor W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
53711 Thulane Magagula M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
21250 Carla Molinaro W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
30013 Chrizell Roberts W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
54793 Karel Burger M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
31281 Chris Cherry M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
35414 Tanith Maxwell W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
8521 Lizzy Ramadimetja W RSA Massmart Athletics Club - CG
38449 Yolande Maclean W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
45474 Vicky Hansen W RSA Massmart Athletics Club - CG
20837 Danette Smith W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
26398 Enie Manzini W RSA Massmart Athletics Club - CG
18289 Gift Kelehe M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
28424 Latudi Makofane M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
16357 Thabiso Bontsi M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
13336 Siya Mqambeli M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
28577 Ernest Mokoo M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
53883 Gordon Lesetedi M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
39510 Charles Mkhonto M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
33483 Cobie Smith W RSA Nedbank Running Club Johannesburg
21620 Siphiwe Mashiane M RSA Impala Marathon Club
23260 Samuel Matsepe M RSA Impala Marathon Club
22714 Thandokwakhe Ngcobo M RSA Entsika Athletics Club - CG
42795 Charne Bosman W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
44096 Salome Cooper W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
54915 David Gatebe M RSA Impala Marathon Club
41314 Thuso Mosiea M RSA Arthur Ford AC
31020 Bongmusa Mthembu M RSA Arthur Ford AC
58229 Nkosinathi Duma M RSA Arthur Ford AC
19389 Bongani Mthembu M RSA Arthur Ford AC
29889 Rufus Photo M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - Limpopo
33059 Thabo Nkuna M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
31049 Mary Khourie W RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - CG
52634 Lucas Nonyana M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
27705 Sanele Sibisi M RSA Maxed - Kwazulu Natal
35149 Fanzo Ndlovu M RSA Sibanyestillwater Athletic Club
24777 Joseph Mphuthi M RSA Sibanyestillwater Athletic Club
18424 Shadrack Mzizi M RSA Sibanyestillwater Athletic Club
15199 Sekonyela Tselane M RSA Sibanyestillwater Athletic Club
27026 Mncedisi Mkhize M RSA Maxed - Kwazulu Natal
56834 Charles Dibate Tjiane M RSA Maxed - Kwazulu Natal
27296 Richard Motsamai Mavuso M RSA Maxed - Kwazulu Natal
29774 Lutendo Mapoto M RSA Murray & Roberts Running Club  - Limpopo
42785 Odwa Tunyiswa M RSA Maxed - Kwazulu Natal
33294 Lucas Raseruthe M RSA Maxed - Kwazulu Natal
30315 Mziwonke Ngwendu M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
32862 Matlabeya Mabapa M RSA Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
30570 Tk Moshwetsi M RSA Impala Marathon Club
30581 Itumeleng Moitse M RSA Impala Marathon Club
30807 Nkosikhosi Mhlakwana M RSA Maxed - Kwazulu Natal
30810 Lindelani Ximba M RSA Arthur Ford AC
 
CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn said, “We wish all of our top contenders the very best on Sunday, 9th June. The Comrades Marathon attracts the very best ultra-runners in the world and this year will be no different. This year’s Up Run already promises to be an epic race.”
 
 



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