Border runner on top of the world after winning ultra race
Mcebisi Yose is a bridesmaid no more when it comes to the gruelling Washie 100 Miler.
Yose is “over the moon” after finally winning the ultra marathon from Port Alfred to East London over a distance of 160km, in a time of 15:54:05 last weekend.
What makes his achievement even more pleasing is that he had three times previously come in second. With the winner of the previous three races, Johann van der Merwe, not participating in this year’s event, the All Stars runner, who was pre-race favourite, had his time to shine – and boy did he shine!
Yose might not have been as blisteringly quick as Van der Merwe, but was overwhelmed by the win nonetheless.
“I’m really happy [to have won]; it’s great. I’m over the moon,” Yose said, as he held onto his four-year-old son, Mabufike, as tears streamed down his face.
“I feel like I am on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. This is a great achievement and I am so proud.”
“We had problems along the way but we conquered. I am doing it again next year if my body and God allows me. The only thing I can improve is my finish time – and it has always encouraged me. My family’s support and everyone else who supports me, encourages me and I am forever thankful,” the athlete said.
And, indeed, the support from his wife, Andiswa, was unwavering.
“I support him fully. I never questioned him when he came home late at night and said that he had been out training,” she said at the finish line.
“I didn’t question him, because I knew he was training to win! [And] What a winner he is; he never walked for the entire race because he was fit and strong.”
Mark McCalgan from Amanzimtoti, came in second and Sifiso Msane of Cheetahs in Mthatha finished in third, although, a few kilometres from the end, it seemed that this would not be the case.
As the front men passed the East London Airport, it looked like the Border/Kei region would grab a rare one- two in the men’s race, but drama followed on the approach to the Buffs Club.
Msane was second at the 122km checkpoint, but McCalgan chased him down and passed him with just a few kilometres to go, to pip him for second place in 16:25:52.
Msane in third place, finished in a time of 16:33:12.
In the women’s race, Johannesburg’s Megan Davey, won her third Washie with a commanding performance. Her first-place finish in 18:25:50, was her second-best ever.
Only her 2013 race, when she finished third overall was faster, by just 3:13.
Davey, who also has two second-place finishes to her credit, said: “It was lovely, I really enjoyed it. My times are all pretty similar and I am just so happy to be back running again”.
In second place was Hazel Moller of Bedfordview Country Club. Novice runner Helene Anderson from RunAvation in Pretoria, finished third in 20:08:38.
American visitor Elaine Stypula was fourth in 21:28:40.
East London’s father and son team Cyril and Desmond Bekker, started and finished together in 24:57:12.
At the prize giving, Cyril, 64, said: “Never again, never”.