RULING THE ROOST: It was an all-Zimbabwean affairs at Sunday's Bay to Bay race. Photo: Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – Zimbabwe-born athletes ruled the roost at the Nutribullet Bay to Bay 30km, run between Camps Bay and Hout Bay yesterday, with Tarisai Bernard Rukadza and Fortunate Chidzivo taking line honours.

For Rukadza, it was fourth time lucky, with the 36-year-old athlete taking advantage of the absence of last year’s top finishers and running the perfect race, taking the lead for the first time just 7km from the finish to win in 1 hr 40 min 59 sec.

Rukadza was content to allow early leader Danzil Paulsen to set the pace with the Kraaifontein athlete leading over Suikerbossie after 9km. Multiple Two Oceans gold-medallist Mthandazo Qhina ran second just ahead of Rukadza.

The tall Zimbabwean gradually closed the gap, overhauling Qhina on the homeward climb up Suikerbossie, and cresting within sight of the leader, Paulsen. An exhausted Paulsen was unable to respond as Rukadza sailed past at 23km, opposite the Twelve Apostles Hotel, racing to victory, 43 seconds clear of Qhina.

The women’s race was a between Chidzivo and Olympic marathoner Tanith Maxwell, with the former ultimately defending her title.

Chidzivo held a clear lead at 9km over Suikerbossie, with Maxwell over 200m behind and she had opened the gap to over two minutes at the turn at 15km near the World of Birds. Maxwell fought back, all but catching Chidzivo at the top of the homeward climb up Suikerbossie before the Zimbabwean accelerated away on the descent past Llandudno, crossing the line at the Glen Country Club in 2 hr 00 min 10 sec to win by just 14 seconds.

Vuyolwethu Mbukushe and Vuyiseka Ngumenge took honours in the 15km race from Hout Bay to Camps Bay, in 44:53 and 1:01:21 respectively. 

Stephen Granger

IOL Sport

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