Lenn Smith Race

The Annual Lenn Smith race is a 4km run or walk round the Wits campus. The race is open to Wits staff and postgraduate students. This is a fun run and aims to encourage physical activity at Wits and to welcome the start of spring. The race is in honour of Lenn Smith, a retired member of the Wits staff and running stalwart.

2019 Race

The annual Lenn Smith Race around campus takes place on 05 September 2019, at 12:30 (registration starts at 11:45), starting from the Wits Club (Note the new start venue). This 5 km fun run/walk follows the Wits parkrun route and is open to all Wits staff and postgraduate students. Walkers are most welcome -- participation rather than time is most important. Prizes will be handed out but please bring your own water for the run/walk.

Date: 05 September 2019
Time: 11:45 (registration)
Venue: Wits Club (Wits parkrun start)
Enquiries: mark.dowdeswell@wits.ac.za

2016 race

The race took place on 1 September with over 200 enthusiastic participants. Excellent weather greeted the start of spring. The overall winner of the race was Chris Cherry from the School of Statistics and Actuarial Science in 13:48. Tebogo Moletsane from the School of Chemistry was the first woman home.

PositionMen Women
1.Chris Cherry, Statistics and Actuarial ScienceTebogo Moletsane, Chemistry
3.Mike Jones, MathematicsZikhona Tetana, Chemistry
3.Yuval Genga, Electrical and Information Engineering Carol Crosley, Registrar's Division

Other prizes

Race results of the first 50 people in are available here.

They're off! Mark Dowdeswell harangued everyone to start
Enjoying a beautiful day The winner



Map of race

View Larger Map

Past races

2014 Race

The Annual Lenn Smith Race took place on 11 September 2014. A hot spring day brought out 382 staff and postgrad students. Lenn Smith was unable to be with us personally but sent a message of support.

The winner of the men's race was Ntutu Letseka from the School of Molecular and Cell Biology. Francesca Parrini from the School of Animal Plant and Environmental Sciences. The top men's team was from the School of Chemistry, and the top women's team from the Evolutionary Studies Institute.

First men home

Ntutu LetsekaMCB14:35
Jonathan GillDevelopment Office15:25
Chris CherryStatistics and Actuarial Studies15:30
Edward SteereElectrical and Information Engineering16:40

Best male team

Chemistry: Sanele Mazibulo, Thumelo Phaalamohlaka, Nilson Mogadi, Muzi Gumedi

First women home

Francesca ParriniAPES19:30
Alexandra UhlESI21:50
Mmaopiemang Sesing-LetsikeHuman and Community Development22:50
Celeste JohnsonPhysics23:50

Best female team

Evolutionary Studies Institute: Alexandra Uhl, Aurore Val, Kimberly Chapelle, Victoria Williams

Best Participation


Detailed results

The top 50 results will be posted here

2013 Race

The 2013 Lenn Smith Race was held on Thursday 5 September, a beautiful spring day, with 250 participants. The highlight of the race was Lenn Smith's participation. At the age of 89, a few months before his 90th birthday, he completed the course in just over an hour. Our youngest participant was almost 85 years younger, we we had a real age spread!

The winner of the race for the second time, was Jonathan Gill from the Development Office in 14:52. The first woman home was Caroline Wostmann from the School of Accounting in 16:25. The School of Molecular and Cell Biology won the team prizes for both men (Ntutu Letseka, Gavin Owen, Sipho Mhlambi, Bradley Peter) and women (Maxine Pinto, Helen Letseka and Valerie). Finance won the prize for the greatest participation. The top 75 runners can be found be found here.

The 2012 was run Thursday 6 September 2012.

Spring rains greeted the run, but over 200 people turned up for a successful run.

The 2012 results can be found here here

2011 Race

The 2011 Race took place on Thursday, 15 September 2011. A new record field of over 410 ran and walked around the campus. We saw new top runners: Mathebete Mathabata from Social Sciences was the first man and Lydia Monyepao from Sports Admin was the first woman. Chemistry and Social Sciences were the first men's and women's team home. The Library was the unit with the most participants and Health Sciences the top faculty! Anayo Choudhury from Bioinformatics won the coveted last person home prize.

The full list of results can found found here

2010 Race

The 2010 Race was run Thursday, 2 September 2010. The race started and finished at the Walter Milton Oval, on the East Campus Sports fields. (see map

2009 Race

The 2009 race took place on Thursday, 3 September 2009. 336 runners and walkers took part. The race started and finished at the Charles Skeen Stadium.


Results of the top 130 places. Summary of previous race results can be found here

Results of the top 130 places. Summary of previous race results can be found here


The sponsors of the race are: