June 2023 Awards: Ziyasha – we did the BIG C!

West Coast athletes outdid themselves at the 2023 Comrades Down Run. Our 44 runners achieved five new club records at this year’s event, and 15 club standards were attained. We had 13 novices complete their first Big C, and five members received their back-to-back medals.

The awards and special mentions for June 2023 (along with more details about our stellar performance at Comrades) are summarised below.

Runner of the month

Zita Brandon was awarded female runner of the month for achieving a silver standard at Comrades Marathon and setting a new down run club record in the grand master female category – she also earned her first bronze medal!

Luca Boyana was awarded male runner of the month for achieving a gold standard at Comrades, setting a new club record in the vet category and running the fastest-ever WCAC down run time. Finishing in an impressive 06:28:04, Luca placed 144th overall in the field.

Club standards

Nineteen (19) athletes were awarded Club standards for their performance during June. Standards achieved included one gold, seven silver and 11 bronze standards.

Special awards and achievements

The 2023 Comrades down run was West Coast’s most successful in several years. Our athletes brought home two silver medals, seven Bill Rowan medals, five Robert Mtshali medals, 15 bronze medals and 12 Vic Clapham medals. David Wilcock ran his 10th Comrades, received his green number, and delivered an eloquent interview on TV. Massive congratulations are due to Isabel Steenkamp, who received her double green number after completing the 2023 Comrades.

Dean Edwards was the first novice from West Coast to finish at Comrades, with Nisrine Smith and Luca Boyana taking the prize for first female and first male finishers, respectively. Impressively, Nisrine was also a novice Comrades runner in 2023.

The Sloth Award went to Megan Pentz-Kluyts, who drove her first official bus as a Western Province Athletics Pacesetter at the Gugs 10km race.

The Captain’s Award was presented to Sue O’Connor, who will be moving abroad after several years of service to the club. Gillian Grobbelaar received the True Spirit Award for playing a huge role in setting up the pre-Comrades dinner, as well as single handedly catering for the Comrades Home Supporters breakfast after their sympathy run, making sure that we could watch & support Comrades on full tummy’s!

Club participation

June was a lower-key one for West Coasters, who spent their energies supporting the Comrades athletes and keeping warm in the chilly weather. Members participated in three road races and one cross-country event. In total, we covered 3964 kilometres of road.