SEASONED campaigner Valda Booysen (Ford) of South Peninsula and one of the top track and road athletes of the South African Amateur Athletics Board is pictured here with Melody Marcus of the University of the Western Cape and Carol Khume of Guguletu.
Ford was the winner of the 1991 UWC street mile in Modderdam Road (renamed Robert Sobukwe), Bellville, with Khume second and Marcus third.
Marcus got her opportunity and grabbed it with both hands when she won the UWC street mile in 1992.
Valda has had a long a career spanning from the early eighties to the early 1990s. She is a former 10km and 15km SAAAB road champion, on top of all her track successes, including titles and records. When she started out as a young athlete, it was Hendriena Persendt of UWC and Olga Howard who dominated the scene. But Ford soon changed that shortly after the 1983/84 seasons and set records in the 800m and 1500m. By the mid-1980s to 1990, Roslyn Meyer, Sharon Klein, Tessa Hefele, Mercia Misroll and Anita Witbooi shook things up for Ford in the 800m and 1500m. The competition turned out to be a healthy one with the winner changing hands in the respective disciplines. Records fell like nine pins in the 800m and 1500m.
Melody Marcus, a late bloomer, was a dedicated and gritty performer who participated in the 1500m and 3000m track races and was a regular participant in the varsity student league competitions held mainly on Wednesday evenings.
Marcus was the Western Province champion in the 1500m and 3000m in 1991. She was the SA Board 10km road champion in 1992. She still runs . . .
Khume was the WP senior women’s 800m champion in 1991.
Carol Khume and her club mate from Guguletu Amateur Athletics club, Belinda Nkonzo and Francina Scheepers (Farwa Mentoor) of Trafalgar Amateur Athletics club, as juniors, were in the same 1989 WP team to Port Elizabeth for the SA Board Track and Field meeting. The three of them were frequent cross-country rivals.
Booysen (Ford) and Marcus participated in cross country events as well.
Like Jowaine Parrott, Scheepers (Mentoor) went on to excel in the Two Oceans and Comrades ultramarathons during the time of unity, running as recently as 2010. Scheepers is a worthy story to write once all the information is gathered.