The Kowie Striders had a champagne celebration last week for two members who achieved SA Champs titles.
Sinethemba Jilingisi, 18, came first in the junior section of the SA Champs half marathon in a time of 71:58, while Sticks Stiglingh won the 65-69 age group in one hour 38 minutes and came fourth overall in the 60-69 age group.
Stiglingh, who has been mentoring a development team of runners at the Kowie Striders, was ecstatic about Jilingisi’s achievement.
“He also won the EP 10km in 33:38, a brilliant time. To go on to win the SA Champs is amazing,” Stiglingh said.
Five Striders were selected for SA Champs, but injury prevented Lithemba Jekana from taking part.
The other two Striders were Xabisa Mazantsi, who came fourth overall, and Ayabonga Saul who came eighth, even with a knee injury.
Stiglingh said missing SA Champs was a disappointment for Jekana, who had come third in the EP 10km.
The Striders also announced the selection of 14 youngsters for the development team, which is called the Kowie Striders academy.
Stiglingh said it was encouraging to see some girls in the group, as previously there were just boys.
The academy was started five years ago.
“It’s quite something for a development team to be achieving SA Champs titles in such a short time,” he said.
“I wouldn’t normally submit youngsters to this race, but we didn’t have SA Champs last year. I’m so proud of these guys.”