Khayelitsha Athletics Club’s Simankela Ngxabela, 13, was the first to cross the finish line in the club’s annual 5km fun run/walk, at the weekend.
Simankela, a Grade 6 pupil at Sosebenza Primary School, said winning his section was great because he was chased by teammate Litholuhle Sithukuthezi for most of the race.
Sithukuthezi, 11, finished in second place
“I enjoyed the race because it was flat and I did not feel tired at all.
“I started slow which worked for me and as the race progressed I started to pick up the pace,” he said.
Although impressed with Simankela’s performance, club captain Khaya Kuse, who drove behind the front group of runners, said what stood out for him was VOB’s Akhona Makila who ran the race barefoot.
“He was leading the 10km run for most of the race. I was surprised that he finished second,” he said.
Kuse said the weather conditions were perfect for road running as the top three finished in less than 32 mintues.
“I did not expect such a quick race. The route is safe, flat and scenic,” he said.
Secretary of the club, Patience Nkohla said the race was a success.
“This was the best turn out we ever had since the club’s first race back in 2009. Words cannot describe how excited I am because we always had just over 400 participants,” he said.
Sunday’s event catered for a novice, the occasional walker, the intermediate runner and the avid runner.
More than 800 runners entered the race that started at Tambo Road, just outside the Mandela Park stadium and ended inside the stadium.
The club was established by former members Mawethu Ndude and Neil Mcdonald in 1993.
It started out with a few athletes and now has over 50 members, including five juniors, 12 sub-juniors and the rest being senior athletes.
Nkohla said they have been going around to schools and organisations in the area, giving out flyers to make the community aware that there is a running club in the area.
“Within the next few months we hoping to organise more fun runs to show the community we mean business. I am positive this club will grow and produce Western Cape athletes in the next few years,” she said.
Meanwhile, MSA Multisport’s Sibusiso Madikizela crossed the finished line first in 36 minutes and 2 seconds in the men’s 10km run, ahead of K-Way VOB’s Akhona Makila and RCS Guguelthu’s Vuyolwethu Mbukushe.
In the women’s section, Velocity athletic club’s Lee-Shay Willemse crossed the finished line first in 38 minutes and 29 seconds, ahead of VOB’s Pamela Moyikwa and Maties’ Ebeth Marias.
VOB walked away with the women’s team prize and UWC won the men’s division.