It was ‘Black & Yellow’ around Hartbeespoort Dam as the Murray & Roberts Running Club dominated the 2022 edition of the Om Die Dam 50km race.

The club took three golds in the men’s top 10 and a big haul of seven in the women’s top 10. Another podium clean sweep in 2022 and a dominant display in the top 25 in both male and female categories.

For the second year in a row (COVID-19 interruption excluded), the Bedfordview-based club provided the women’s winner as Adele Broodryk stormed to victory in 3 hours 23 minutes and 48 seconds, just 15 ticks of the clock shy of the course record. “I felt completely in control and even though I passed the marathon in a new personal best of 2:46, there was a lot left in the tank at the finish line,” said the sports scientist from Potchefstroom, who finished 29th overall. Her Comrades preparations are ‘spot on’ she says.

The 2016 Comrades marathon winner, Charne Bosman, ran her fastest time ever on the undulating course (at the age of 46) to clinch second, while the rest of the women in Black & Yellow secured from fifth through to ninth place via Cobie Smith (3:40), Danette Walley (3:41) defending champion Caroline Josten (3:42), Janie Grundling and Yolande Mclean, ninth in 3:45. All in all, there were 11 of the team in the top 20 women.

Lutendo Mapoto took the lead of the race between the 40km and 42km mark, only to run into energy troubles on the last tough drag up to the finish line at the Hartbeespoort High School, but eventually finished just more than a minute off the winning time in 2 hours 58 minutes and 35 seconds. His teammate from Limpopo, Pfarelo Mathada, was sixth and veteran Thulani Magagula, was eighth in 3:06. There were another five Murray & Roberts men in the top 25, confirming the depth that manager Dana Coetzee has established in the team.

The podium clean sweep, a 19th for the club this year alone, came from the veteran women as they dominated the over-40 category through Bosman, Josten and Grundling. Magagula took second in the veterans’ men’s section, while Bethuel Netshitenzhe was victorious in the over-50s in a scintillating 3:18, cementing the win with almost four minutes to spare. The remarkable Val Watson, on the comeback trail after battling illness, won the grand masters category title, in 4:52.

Club chairman, Ed Jardim, said, “I’m grateful that we can run and race again. The old saying goes: “You don't know what you have till it’s gone.” Well, seeing the team, our performances and spirit throughout reminded me of how lucky we are to have it all back. When 'Chariots of Fire’ sounded at the start of Om Die Dam, it reminded us of that great race, the Comrades, later this year. We’ll do the same again there as we did this weekend, I’m sure.”