Defending Old Mutual Om die Dam champion and 2016 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon winner Caroline Wöstmann clinched her second consecutive Old Mutual Om die Dam title with Zimbabwe’s Colin Parura winning the men’s race in Hartbeespoort on Saturday, 18 March 2017.
The country’s two leading female ultra runners Wöstmann and defening Comrades champion Charné Bosman were involved in a close tussle for the women’s title until the halfway mark.
Wöstmann made her move shortly after the halfway mark where she opened a sizeable gap between her and Bosman to race home in a time of three hours, 29 minutes and 47 seconds (3:29.47).
Bosman finished in second place with a time of 3:34.42 with Yolande Maclean crossing the line in 3:40.46.
“I really enjoyed it, I was running with a great bunch of people, today was just an easy run and I am just lucky the pace came so easy,” Wöstmann said.
“I wasn’t supposed to run this so fast so coach Lindsey Parry is not going to be happy with me.”
Last year Wöstmann became the first athlete to win the Old Mutual Two Oceans (2016), Old Mutual Om die Dam (2016), and Comrades (2015) ultra-marathons within a 12 month period.
“It felt a lot easier than last year, so I’m quite surprised. I didn’t expect it to be this easy,” she said.
“We formed a bit of a group and I was running with Charné and with Mary Khourie.”
A lead group of eight men including former Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo stayed together up to the 36 kilometre mark.
Although the course has changed, runners received little reprieve over the gruelling 2km climb over the notorious Saartjiesnek.
Shortly before Saartjiesnek, Parura made his move with the killer hill stretching out the lead bunch.
Parura claimed his maiden Old Mutual Om die Dam title in a time of 2:53.54 with Mamabolo finishing second for the second consecutive year clocking 2:56.51.
Rofhiwa Mathidi rounded off the podium crossing the line in a time of 2:57.55.
The popular ultra-marathon has grown in stature with both the half marathon and the 50km selling out for the first time ever on a new route with the ultra-marathon finish at Oewer Club at Schoemansville.
Parura said he had run an easy race before Saartjiesnek took its toll but he was nevertheless delighted with his victory.
“That was a steep one, it was a massive challenge but I took the lead from there pushing harder and harder,” Parura said.
Mamabolo, who won the race 14 years ago with a new course record, believed the performance would hold him in good stead for the Comrades Marathon on June 4.
Old Mutual Head of Brand, Karen Thomas, praised the athletes for their top performances and thanked the organisers for hosting a stunning event.
“Congratulations to all the winners and runners who participated in the Old Mutual Om die Dam Marathon over the weekend. Once again, the organisers put on a magnificent event, one which really kick-starts the ultra marathon season in South Africa,” said Thomas.
”At Old Mutual we really believe in going the distance, so it’s no surprise that we connect so readily with the three most prestigious ultra marathons in the country.
“Each one of the three major ultras – Old Mutual Om die Dam Marathon, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Comrades Marathon – require determination and planning to conquer, something we at Old Mutual recognise and value; it’s why we’re only too happy to continue our support of these wonderful races.”
Old Mutual Om die Dam results:
1 Colin Parura Nedbank 2:53.54
2 Ludwick Mamabolo Nedbank 2:56.51
3 Rofhiwa Mathidi Rocky Road Runners Club 2:57.55
1 Caroline Wöstmann KPMG 3:29.47
2 Charné Bosman Nedbank 3:34.42
3 Yolande Maclean 3:40.46
1 Obed Kopong Nedbank 1:10.50
2 Henno Havenga NWU-Puk 1:14.22
3 Fortune Howard Anglo American 1:22.23
1 Andronica Mokgotla Nedbank 1:26.40
2 Rebecca Tebogo Mokgosinyane Nedbank 1:30.09
3 Maria Vilikazi Run Walk for Life 1:31.47
Photos by Kevin Sutherland
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) March 18, 2017