A cold, wet and windy Saturday 8 September would see the South African Cross Country Championships take place in Port Elizabeth. A number of local athletes would brave the elements and the tough routes in their quest to be selected for the South African Cross Country team.
From Port Alfred, seven Kowie Striders club members took on the cross country challenge, performing very well across the board. Lithemba Jekana came 23rd in the Boys 13 category, while Mpho Nxabazi finished 83rd in the Boys 15 category. They were joined by Ayabonga Saul, who came in 86th place in the Boys 16/17 category.
The Kowie ladies were represented by young Rebecca Nelson, who took home 83rd place in the Girls 11 category, while Avril Beyleveld earned sixth place in the Ladies 45-69 category.
Kowie was also well represented in the men’s senior competitions, with Port Alfred Parkrun record holder, Sizakele Dayimani, taking home 24th in the 35-39 category, and securing a team bronze medal. Kowie chairperson, Sticks Stiglingh, came third in the 60-64 category, and earned a team silver medal himself.
In addition to the great representation from Port Alfred, Grahamstown also had two local runners in the Eastern Province team – Terri-Lynn Penney and Jene Banfield. Penney finished 17th in the Women’s 40-44 category, earning a team silver medal, while Banfield came fifth in the Women’s 45-49 category.
Despite the poor conditions on the day, all the athletes put in their all to challenge for a place on the podium.