The 2018 Comrades Marathon was special for Bedfordview Country Club Athletics this year with one of its runners claiming a prestigious Wally Hayward medal.
Thandokwakhe Ngcobo, known as Thando, at 37 years old achieved the best result yet in the 40-year history of this local amateur running club at the marathon.
He came in 14th overall, in a time of five hours, 53 minutes and six seconds to win a Wally Hayward medal.
Thando had humble beginnings when he joined the club in 2016, completing his first Comrades in nine hours and 15 minutes in the same year.
Thando began as a cleaner at Virgin Active and worked his way up to being a personal trainer.
Thando resides in Berea where at times he ran to work, 22km in and 22km back home.
“Last year a fellow club member donated their old Garmin GPS watch to him. For the first time he could calculate his training distance,” said Grant Morgan, committee member for Bedfordview Athletics.
This year he did over 4 000km of running in preparation for the Comrades from January to June.
The Comrades Marathon for 2018 was the second largest field ever of 21 273 entries and only the fittest 16 477 runners finished in the 12-hour time limit.
“This year residents of Bedfordview and Edenvale had over 535 Comrades entries making this neighbourhood one of the highest densities of Comrades runners in the country relative to population size,” said Morgan.
However, only 377 runners from the local clubs of Bedfordview Athletics, Jeppe Quondam, Fit 2000 Bedfordview, Germiston Callies Harriers, Greenstone Hill Running Club and Edenvale’s Rand Road Warriors completed the race.
Also read: Greenstone runners do well at Comrades
The top five local men were Thandokwakhe Ngcobo (5:53:06), Professor Ncube (6:35:00), Mistake Moffat (6:53:13), Emmanuel Mavunda (7:00:39) and Sean Dowds (7:02:36).
The top five local women were Leanne Mackay (8:45:02), Gwen Muller (8:51:20), Cynthia Dodo (8:52:32), Jeanine Humphrey (8:54:48) and Hazel Moller (8:57:21).