One would have got the feeling that it was the South African Half-Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, with a line-up of national and international athletes.
However, this was the Nelson Mandela Bay City Half-Marathon, and the South African Half-Marathon Championships took place on the same day in Pretoria.
The main attraction for the country’s top athletes in Saturday’s event was probably the R350 000 total prize purse, which included R35 000 for the male and female winners.
The top 10 finishers in the men’s and women’s sections were awarded prize money, as were the top three in the various age categories. Saturday’s 21km in PE was run in heavy winds.
According to WeatherSA, winds were around 45km/h. However, this did not seem to slow down the top athletes as they sped up and down the out-and-back route, which started at the Summerstrand Life Saving Club at Pollok Beach.
Overall winner was Elroy Gelant of Transnet Gauteng in a time of 1 hour 4 minutes 20 seconds. Women’s winner was Mapaseka Mkhanya of Boxer athletics club in 1:14:43.
Rhodes University Athletics Club member Natalie Ross, who was crowned the Rhodes Sportswoman of the Year in September, was the second Eastern Province Athlete home in a time of 1:26:30.
Ross said she was happy with her race, even though it was extremely windy. A total of 804 athletes finished the half-marathon.
See Grahamstown athletes’ results on page 28 on Friday’s print edition.
Article source: http://www.grocotts.co.za/content/top-athletes-pe-21-11-2014