Blustery conditions met the competitors yesterday evening when they assembled at the start line of the Rondebosch Common Spectacular. There was an air of tension amid the competitors prior to the start, each sizing up the other readying themselves to do battle on the 5km course ahead. A 100 strong field took to the start line and the gun went off and it was on!!
Chukka Charts strode out to the front with Kenyan like simplicity and looked as if he was in a defiant mood. He was followed closely by the bunch who kept him in their sights. He led at the 1km mark posting a 3:50 first km. It was then he turned down the hospital mile and powered through the biting gale with Great Dayne tucked in just behind and Elley, Donkey and Beef Jordaan grouped in a couple of lengths back. It was clear that the wind and the brisk start was beginning to take its toll on the Irish folk singer and he began to tire towards the end of Hospital Mile. Great Dayne took over the front running momentarily around the 2km mark, but Elley made a decisive move just after the 2km marker, the years and injuries seeming to melt away with every step. He opened up a 20s lead at the half way mark going through at 9:42.
Travelling support in the form of the Scotsman arrived, despatching drinks to the competitors and offering wise words of encouragement as a few of the competitors started to tire. Elley had kept his lead along the Rustenburg side and hit hospital mile for the last time with his 20s lead still intact and looking in fine form to take the Common Spectacular (as it was renamed) for the second time in a row. Chasing him were the Great Dayne, a few lengths further back were Beefy and Chukka who had now fallen well off the pace with that uncharacteristic schoolboy error in the first km, with Donkey a few paces further back.
But road running is a funny old sport, just when Elley looked to have it all but sewn up, he began to show signs of fatigue, as Hospital Mile began to take its toll. This left the door open for Allenbrook who was now gaining ground on Elley with the help of his Ethiopian pacemaker, Elias.
By the time they rounded the corner and headed into the final straight, Elley and Allenbrook were neck and neck. It would all be down to the last 300m with the Scotsman providing a full running commentary from the safety of his bike. Allenbrook was the first to break 250m out, he strode out hoping Elley would lose touch, but this was to no avail as Elley remained in tow and the move was squashed. Elley then made the decisive break 150m from home and it was one that was not followed by a shattered Allenbrook. He sprinted away to claim his second victory in a row in a winning time of 20:02, beating Allenbrook into 2nd by 10s.
The Results were as follows:
1) Jason Elley 20:02
2) Dayne Allenbrook 20:12
3) Michael Charton 21:30
4) Bernaard Jordaan 21:35
5) Graham Barrett 22:30
It must be mentioned that Neil Quayle was nowhere to be seen. After all the media hype and big talking, the veteran of 26 comrades marathons and 32 2oceans Marathons was a notable absence in the strong field. In his press conference he gave a Shabir Shaik'esque performance and revealed that his health had deteriorated to such an extent that he was unable to get any revolutions on the ball in the nets. "I cant even get Gio Colussi out" were his words. He even went on to hint that it was affecting his performance in the bedroom, but these rumours are as of yet unconfirmed.
All the competitors were irate at the fact that Quayle had pulled out and many were calling for a life ban calling his behaviour "disgraceful" and "uncouth". The Nadoes Running Association have the matter under review and a decision is expected later in the week. Tom Dawson-Squibb was also not in attendance which was a pity because many were looking forward to the battle between him and Barrett. The recently engaged, stick like father of 2 was unavailable for comment on his non-arrival.