Delta’s female record is broken every two years and 2018 was no exception.
Originally set at Event 8 on the last day of 2011 by Ann Ashworth who ran a 21:18, the Delta record was broken in May 2012 at Event 29 by Zola Budd Pieterse who smashed it with a 19:57, to break 20 minutes for the first time.
Budd Pieterse’s record held for two years and in October 2014 Rene Kalmer ran the 5 km in 19:33 at Event 153 to break it. It took another two years for Tamara Jewett to take the time below 19 minutes to 18:50 at Event 252 in August 2016. And again, on cue, the record has been broken in 2018, this time by Carina Viljoen who shaved 2 seconds off the previous record.
If some of these names are familiar to you, they should be! They represent some of the cream of South African running talent. Ann Ashworth is the 2018 Comrades Marathon winner but she also started both the Roodepoort and Bryanston parkruns. Zola Budd Pieterse, who hails from Bloemfontein and was famous for running middle and long distances barefoot, competed in the 1984 Olympic Games (representing Britain, but that’s another story). Rene Kalmer is also an Olympic athlete, having represented SA at both the 2008 and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Tamara Jewett, a Canadian visiting SA, popped into two parkruns and taught locals a few lessons (she still holds Voortrekker’s record). A name to watch though is Carina Viljoen. This 21-year-old South African athlete is currently studying in Arkansas and has a 5 km PB of 16:28.3. She comes from great running genes – her father Gerhard Viljoen has a 7-hour Comrades to his name.
Some brilliant Delta female athletes who have clocked up times that could have broken records if they had been run a little earlier include Kate Roberts (19:04), Holly Crews (19:53), Simone Burger (19:56), Maria Vilakazi (19:59), Megan Diffenthal (20:07), Kimberley Swanepoel (20:11), Leigh McMorran (20:24) and Demi Rogers (20:49).
The Delta age graded record was also broken in 2018 when Stuart McColl (VM55-59) ran a blistering 17:52 to achieve an age grading of 88.25% at Event 372 (03/11/18) on his first-ever run at Delta. With 17 Comrades to his name, Stuart has been tearing up parkrun courses around the country. He has done 17:23 at Voortrekker (89.17%), 16:45 at Klerksdorp (91%), 16:28 at Parys (92.51%) and an astonishing 16:03 at North Beach (94%). Stuart loves doing parkruns as a time trial because it helps to get his speed up. He found Delta parkrun to be among the best and most challenging parkruns and enjoyed the hospitality.
Sadly, we don’t have the same good news regarding the male record. Delta’s male record holder is an Unknown Athlete who completed Event 96 in 2013 in 15:29. We keep hoping that someone with a barcode will better this time and we have an excellent line-up of men who are likely to do so.
Perhaps the hottest contenders are Admire Muzopambwa (16:09) who has placed first at Delta 49 times, Quintin Honey (16:13) and Rapula Kekae (16:32) have come close this year. Other top runners have been Dan Don Ndlovu (15:56); Bernard Dandadzi (16:03); Michael Pienaar (16:10) and Innocent Ndlovu (16:16), but none have done these times recently. So, gents, the challenge is on. We want a named athlete to take the crown!
Compliments of the season and a happy New Year to all parkrunners. I know 2019 is going to be a wonderful year for us all. We certainly started the year in style with hundreds of parkrunners enjoying the New Year’s double runs all around South Africa. Certainly, those who ran the rain-soaked and waterlogged…
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