Not even cold weather could stop the GTR 2018 race

Saturday the 18th of August saw the running of the 32 nd Annual Rotary GTR race sponsored by Glencore.

With all the planning boxes ticked, the race was set to happen on Saturday. However, mother nature had other plans..

The good weather on Friday afternoon gave the organising team time to set up for the event, but when Saturday morning arrived, the weather took a turn for the worst. The wind was blowing and it was extremely cold, said Chantal Bekker (GTR 2018 Chair).

Never the less, the runners arrived by their thousands full of enthusiasm and enjoyed the icy cold day together.

Along with the participants, the sponsors and volunteers braved the cold windy conditions with a positive attitude.

The premier event of Mpumalanga will not be possible without our Sponsors, Volunteers and participants, said Bekker.

This was the first year that the race ran from Middelburg to eMalahleni which ended at the Witbank Dam. As with any major changes to an event, there will be factors that only become apparent once you held the event at a new venue for the first time.

One of these factors was the traffic congestion which our road control team tried to manage as best as possible with limited resources. 15 000 athletes took part in the event along with spectators that also came to be part of the event. With any large event anywhere, the traffic is always a problem. The committee has already identified possible solutions which could be implemented next time. We would like to thank the public that were affected by this for their patience.

With anything new there will be teething problems and these issues will be dealt with as our team are already brainstorming for the 33 rd GTR event that will take place on 24 August 2019, Said Bekker.


Individual 32km – Male

Position Name Time Club
1st Mandla Nkabinde 1:55:07 Anglo
2nd Nkosi Skosana 1:55:19 Anglo
3rd Happy Hlongwane 2:07:24 Anglo

Individual 32km – Female

Position Name Time Club
1st Anishia Fryer 2:20:23 Middelburg
2nd Mavis Maphete 2:49:55 Eskom
3rd Tlangelani Mthimkulu 2:51:32 Legogote Villagers
4th Zanele Masango 2:51:50 Khulunolwazi Primary School

Individual 15km – Male

Position Name Time Club
1st Solly Mglala 58:19 Eskom
2nd Jacques Keulder 58:32 Midack
3rd Bongani Nkosi 59:13 Ngangala
4th Sipho Bachala 60:23 Eskom

Individual 15km – Female

Position Name Time Club
1st Ilse Botha 1:19:14 Midack
2nd Michyla Lewis 1:25:54 Bethal
3rd Marise Schutte 1:25:57 Private
4th Alet Pretorius 1:28:06 Eskom


Primary School

Position Name Time
1st Laerskool Kanonkop (Maryna Venter team) 25:14
2nd Laerskool Kanonkop (Jardus Mans team) 27:55
3rd Alex M Mampana Primary School (Gugu Mahlangu team) 28:55

High School

Position Name Time
1st LTP Sililo (Fezile Zwane team) 37:58
2nd WH De Klerk School (Reginal Campher) 45:01
3rd WH De Klerk School (Innocence team) 57:05

Open Teams

Position Name Time
1st Middelburg Marathon Club (Gordon Buda) 25:14
2nd Dust-a-side (Coenie Pretorius) 27:41
3rd Dust-a-side (Rocher Machaba) 27:55

Change is coming…

31 Years ago 4 Rotary Clubs in Witbank and Middelburg got together and the GTR (previously known as The Greatest Train Race) was born. Since day one the goal of the GTR was to make a difference in our local community & even today that is the main goal of the largest charity event in Mpumalanga.

During the first couple of years the race alternated between Witbank and Middelburg, but logistically it got too complicated and the decision was made that the race will only go one way and that was from Witbank to Middelburg.

With the race concept changing over the last two years, it became evident that alternating the race will become inevitable.

It is with great pleasure to inform our local community and people entering the race from other towns that the 2018 GTR race will start in Middelburg and end in eMalahleni.

With a lot of deliberation and discussions with various venues on the space needed to host an event of this magnitude, the clear option was The Witbank Dam. Witbank Dam is known as the largest municipal dam in the Southern hemisphere and boasts a catchment area of more than 3 540 square kilometres.

We are aware that there are a lot of work to be done at the Dam, but with the commitment from the eMalahleni Municipal Council in bringing the facilities up to a safe standard, we are sure that together, we can make this the event of the year, said Chantal Bekker, GTR Chairlady.

There are loads of new and exciting elements that will be added to this year’s GTR race and we are over the moon to bring the end of the Race to eMalahleni.

The long distance race will start in Middelburg in front of Nkangala District Municipality in Walter Sisulu street, travelling along the R555, through town and past the Ridge Casino to the dam. The 4.9KM fun run and team run will be in and around the dam area.

The event will take place on the 18th of August 2018. The long distance races will start at 7am and the fun run and teams from 8am. All the races will end around 1pm. The aim is to have as little as possible disruptions on the roads.

The GTR has become a prestigious event with a proud history and the GTR organisers are committed to many charities.

The real benefit of having the biggest event of Mpumalanga at the Witbank Dam, is to create jobs, draw tourist attractions for future use of the dam, which means increased people to visit eMalahleni, and increased money spent in the Witbank area, ultimately improving the economic status of eMalahleni, said Bekker.