Kempton Night Race in Memory of Bill Lawler PDF Print E-mail
Dirty Hands, Clean Future
Written by Lauren Wood   

Last night Breakthru Midrand Striders took to the streets of Kempton Park, not only to reclaim their biggest bus trophy but to also pay tribute to an invaluable member of the club, who is sadly no longer with us today, Bill Lawler.

Crossing the finish line with around 40members in the bus, Breakthru managed to win the biggest bus tropghy once more. I have no doubt that Bill is beaming down on us all with pride.

Well done Breakthru Midrand Striders!


3 DEC 1941 - 20 JAN 2013


Last Updated on Monday, 07 October 2013 18:40
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Five Midrand runners remembered

Six Midrand runners were tragically knocked down on Saturday, 22nd October 2011.  Five of them were killed and one put in hospital. Moroese Mokoatsi, Reneilwe Lesenyeho, Given Mills, Isaac Tlale and Nomvula Dumako were declared dead on the scene while Khanyiswa Sthengile was rushed to hospital. Reneilwe Lesenyeho was an active member of our club. The other runners were from Vodacom Yebo Striders, Goldfields Athletics Club and Diepkloof  Athletics Club.

It has been a year since this terrible tragedy. Let's take a moment to remember our fellow runners.

Please be especially careful of drunk drivers when running on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The car involved in the accident. This photo is courtesy of the Sunday Times.

Sbusiso Langa is being charged for murder.

Photo courtesy of The Star.

Memorial Service

A memorial service was held for all the fallen runners at Vodacom World on Wednesday, 26 October 2011. Our Club Chairman, Duane Newman had the following words to say:

"My name is Duane Newman – chairman of Breakthru Midrand running club.  I have been asked to say a few words about Reneilwe who was a fellow club member on ours.

On behalf of the club I would like to express my sadness to the family and friends for their loss. I hope they receive great strength from God at this time.

To us at Breakthru,  Reneilwe was the bright future of South Africa and of Midrand. She was only 31 and had been a member of our club since February 2009.

It was clear she had a passion for her running.  She had run many of the big races we all know which are on the local road running calendar including Pick n Pay, Sunrise Monster, Vodacom, Csir, City to City and most recently the Chamberlains.

She clearly wanted a challenge in her running as most of their races are really tough...with hard hills. But then living in Midrand...this area in known for its hills. The local Vodacom challenge and Breakthru 15km were well known for the hills.

This shows me that she didnt shy away from a challenge.

In my most recent discussion with Reneilwe at the last race she ran...the Chamberlains Classic 21km, she was clearly energised and keen to run. I will remember that brief moment with fondness forever.

I am sure many of her friends and clubmates will be remember their last time they spoke or ran with Reneilwe. Cherish those moments. Never forget.

As a club we are sad to lose a fellow club member in this way on roads we have all run many times in training. It really hits home to many of us.

We are determined that Reneilwe’s and others lost in this tragedy memory will live on.

For us at Breakthru Midrand the issues we want to ensure are addressed going forward are:

- visibility of the traffic police in the early hours of the morning especially on weekends when runners are out training.  We do want to thank the JPMD for their presence at the memorial run yesterday. It made a big difference. Thank you.

- the lack of sports facilities for us runners in Midrand – one of the fastest growing areas in South Africa.

We look forward to working with the other running clubs, the Athletics Association, national and provincial government in the spirit of partnership to honour our fellow runners memory.

Finally we pray for strength for the family at this time.

Reneilwe you will not be forgotten but will be sorely missed"


Wall of Remembrance

We are overwhelmed by all the messages of support and condolences we are receiving for the runners and their families. We are receiving messages from all over the country. This tragedy has touched the hearts and lives of every single runner. Send your messages to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or anyone on the BMS committee and we will do our best to place them all on our wall of remembrance.

"I am so saddened to hear that innocent runners died whilst just out enjoying their run. My love and thoughts go out to all the families but most especially to our fellow BMS runner. Sherilee McCormac"
"Hi Penny and Leon. Please accept our sincerest condolences. Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in such tragic circumstances. From John and Beth Neale (and our children Ruth and James) Randburg Harriers"
"Leon, this is too sad and terrible... so so sorry to all the families and friends. Debbie Addison"
"Hi Leon, How terrible for their loved ones - it could have been any of us who love to run. Marietjie Airey"
"Hi Leon, I was away for the weekend and picked up the story on news 24 yesterday which has left me feeling sick. It is such a senseless and tragic loss and I can't imagine how the families are feeling. The sad reality is that I have regularly seen this kind of driving when out on the bike in the early hours on the weekends but feel helpless against this scourge of drunken driving. Please let us know if there is anything that the members can do. Regards, Derrian."
"Good day I am devastated by the accident yesterday.  I am a member of RAC and for me this is a tragedy of note.  Please would you advise any details you have about the funerals and a fund to assist the families. Many thanks. Kind regards, Carol Lewin"
"This whole incident is so sad! Let us know if there is any other way we can help. Regards, Claudine"
"Dear Sir/Madam, We woke up to the news, “Five runners killed by this car” Sunday Times 23 October 2011. We find this hard to comprehend, with the thought that every time a runner dies on the road ‘because of motorists who are inconsiderate to other road users, especially road runners’ is one runner too many. From the entire membership of Diepkloof athletics club, we write this email expressing our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. No words can express as to how deeply we are touched by this incident as those who passed on where indeed our own, our partners and our friends. Kindly keep us posted as to the proceedings with regards to memorial services if the will be any and any other developments on this regard. May their souls rest in peace. Yours in Sports. Hamilton Kungoane, Chairman: Diepkloof Athletics Club"
"Dear Mr Newman, On behalf of the Central Gauteng Athletics management and the athletics family, we would like to express our sincere loss on passing of your club members on Saturday 22 October. Collectively we have lost a running partner, a friend and important members of our running fraternity. We feel empty inside because of the love we had for our departed colleagues in athletics. To all the families, I would like indicate that God’s mercy wipes your tears, and heal your wounds. The Central Gauteng Athletics Board and athletics family wish you strength through this hardship times. May their soul rest in peace. From Central Gauteng Athletics Board, Staff and Athletics family. Kind regards, Mandla Radebe, General Manager, Central Gauteng Athletics"
"Hi Duane, Condolences on the senseless end of your club member’s life. May the souls of all the runners who perished rest in peace. At the start of our race yesterday – Carnival City Half Marathon – we observed a moment of silence in their honour. As a runner (an infuriated one, currently, I may add), I refuse to be a passive bystander and allow this anarchy to continue. I would like to be involved in doing something to correct this madness, anything Duane. If you happen to know of anything planned by the running community perhaps to pay last respects or to support the families of the deceased or to make this hooligan pay, so as to send a strong message to other would-be drunk drivers, kindly let me know. We can’t continue to live under siege. I’m so angry. Regards Lwazi "
"Dear Fellow Runners, Our heartfelt condolences to your running club on the loss of the five runners killed on the weekend. This horrific act is a grim reminder of the circumstances we have to deal with while trying to exercise our love and passion for running. Our prayers and thoughts are with your club and the friends and familly of those passed on. May God bless and love them and keep them safe. Kind regards, Durban High School Old Boys.
"Hi, I am a fellow runner from Jeppe and I would just like to share our condolences with your club and the families of those who were tragically killed. Kind Regards, Delia"
"Hi Duane, This is terrible - I was shocked on Saturday when reading the news story, and on seeing all the club emails about this incident. It really hits hard and pulls on heart strings when it is a fellow club member, and an incident occurring on a road that we all run on regularly. I have had a few people here in Nelspruit asking about the incident, knowing that we are from Midrand (and still running in BMS colours). From the owner of the local running shop to fellow runners that we have met, and the local Run/Walk for Life franchise. I think the whole running community is aggrieved by this incident. Our condolences to the friends, families, and club members of Breakthru and Vodacom on the loss of these runners. Regards, Andrew."
"Dear Duane and William, It was with shock and deep distress that we learned of the dreadful accident involving your club members. Please convey our heartfelt condolences to all the bereaved families of this devastating incident. Whilst this disaster brings home to us the fragility of life, it is also a wake-up call to all of us to be aware of the dangers of drunk driving. I have little doubt that the driver will pay dearly for this crime. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this very sad time. Please let us know if we can help in any way. Yours sincerely, Norman Fels and all the staff at Breakthru."
"To: The President, It is my sad duty –on behalf of the Board to extend to you our heartfelt sympathy in the loss that you and we in the running fraternity have suffered regarding the runners that were killed at Midrand whiles preparing for the Soweto marathon. Regards Walter Vilakazi, GENERAL MANAGER, ATHLETICS GAUTENG NORTH"
"To Duane & Breakthru Running Members, just a message of sincere condolences on the loss of your runner in Saturday's tragic accident. Kim Pain, Jeppe Quondam Athletics Club"
"Dear Leon, We extend our sincere and deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of the five runners.  Please also extend our wishes to Khanyiswa Sthengile for a speedy recovery. It is a loss to athletics and all the people of our country that young people are taken from us so tragically. Please would you be so kind as to let us know if there is a fund that has been set up for the families and also if there are details yet of the funeral arrangements. Best regards, Carol and Mike Lewin"
"Dear Kebu and all your members. We are appalled at what happened on Saturday and most distressed. On behalf of all our members, may we pass on our deepest sympathy to you all. With much love. Vreni & Dick, Rand Athletic Club & Members"
"Hi, I'm deeply sad to hear about the bad news of our fellow runners. My condolences to their families and friends. May their souls rest in peace. Rodney"
"The Members - Vodacom Striders/Breakthru Midrand Striders/Goldfields Athletics Club and Bereaved Family , The Athletics Club Eersterust (ACE) would like to pass our heartfelt condolences to your club on the tragic and untimely loss of life of your members and also convey the same to their families. We also pray for the complete and speedy recovery of the injured member. This truly is a sad time for running in the Province but also the country and trust that our prayers would provide some peace to you at this time. Yours in running, The Members of ACE in AGN
"Dear All at Midrand Striders, Previously when I travelled from Dubai to visit my Sister in Midrand I had the privilege to run with Midrand Striders on a couple of their social runs and have met the most amazing people.  AT a time like this though I am so far away I cannot hold back the tears as I know for a fact that like me, these runners went out early in the morning and didn’t even see their families as they were probably sleeping.  This is so tragic, I wish you all well during this period and my condolences go to the families.  Sandy Penny (Dubai)
"Hi Leon, I know that I am not an active member of the club at the moment but I am still saddened that these poor ladies died doing something they loved! Could you please send the families my deepest condolences during the saddest time in the history of the club. Best Regards, Steven Da Silva"
"Dear Sir, Please accept my sincere sympathy on the tragic death of our friends. I am very sorry that they are no longer with us. I used to race with them in many races, Vodacom challenge, City2City which is the most resent races we were together.  No doubt this sad event has been very disturbing for me and for the many other people who knew and cared for him.  I am thinking of you and their families, friends in this time of loss and bereavement. We were planning to perform the best times in the coming Soweto marathon but GOD knows what next.  I am in pain…. Tshepang Goodman Thaba"
"Dear Breakthru Midrand runners, please accept my condolence for the loss of your club mate as well as the other runners from other clubs, all members of the running community which we are all part of. Please know that we all feel the loss! Even though I will not be able to join you for the memorial run at your Time Trial today, I will be there with my spirit and my heart. Run Safe! Caroline Lee from Morningside MCCRR"
"Dear club Chairman, The world is dangerous. At every corner, separation and sadness await our crossing, sabotaging our happiness and stealing our hope.  Knowing this, we risk living anyway, we risk loving anyway.  And the pain and loss that comes is not given as a personal test, but simply as consequence of being alive. Please send our condolences to family and friends of Reneilwe Lesenyeho that passed away on the 22 October 2011 while on a training run. We as club are truly sorry for your loss. Regards, Aaron Mabena, Club Chairman, Transnet Rail Engineering Athletics Club"
"Dear Runners, A tragic accident happened on Saturday 22nd October 2011 where 6 runners, while training were involved in a fatal accident. Five of the runners passed away, while Khanyisa from Vodacom Striders (the only surviving member of the group) sustained seriously injuries and is currently undergoing surgery and recovery in hospital. Our condolences also go to the Midrand Striders, Diepkloof, Momentum and Goldfields Athletics Clubs, to whom the others runners belonged and to their loved ones. A Memorial service will be held at Vodacom World, Vodacom Boulevard on Wednesday 26th October 2011 at 18:00. A representative of ASA (Athletics South Africa) and the Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mr. Lebogang Maile, will be attending this memorial service. Please join us in solidarity as we honour the passing away of these runners. A memorial run from Vodacom Midrand will take place on Tuesday 25th October at 17:15 to the scene of the accident where a moment of silence will be held for the runners. May their souls rest in peace. Yours sincerely, Michael Jeffries, Secretary, Vodacom Striders"
"To:Vodacom Striders, Breakthru Midrand Striders,Goldfields Athletics Club, All Families, Friends and the running community at large, Our heartfelt condolences for such a huge loss of people that looked after their health. We really hope that the law will take its course on this matter. In love and sympathy - Poem for fallen Athletes:
We little knew that morning
God was going to call their names
In life we loved them dearly
In death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose them
They did not go alone.
For part of us went with them
The day God called them home.
Kind Regards, Andrew Chiloane and All the members of BankservAfrica Athletics Club, A.  Chiloane"
"Hi Duane, When I heard about this late Saturday I immediately thought of Midrand Striders and the many runners who look forward to the freedom of being with running friends and working to- wards a common goal. Then this happens. This is a tragedy and my prayers go out to the families of those involved. May God support, comfort and be with the families as they deal with their loss. Regards, Allan"
"Dear Duane & Midrand Striders, Our sincere condolences go out to your club and the families of the victims, who are experiencing the immense hurt and pain of this tragedy. At times like this words cannot console the hurt that is felt, but just to let you know that our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with you in this time of sorrow. Kind Regards, Colin Hart (on behalf of BCC Athletics)"
"As and ex Midrand Country Striders member and chairman, now living in Australia, I would like to pass on my condolences to the families of all the runners killed in that tragedy on the Olifantsfontein road last week. I lived and ran that road many times during my training and I find it so hard to comprehend how someone could take the lives of so many in an instant. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Llew Swan, Gold Coast , Australia"
"Dear Sammy, On behalf of the Irene Road Running Club I want to convey our condolences to the members of your club, family and friends of those who died in the terrible accident on Saturday. May you all find peace and understanding in the days to come. Wynand Breytenbach, General Manager - Irene Road Running Club"
"Dear Duane, On behalf of the Sunninghill Striders Running Club, we send our condolences to the family and friends of the late Reneilwe Lesenyeho. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Breakthru Striders during this difficult time. Regards, Sunninghill Striders"


Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 18:31