Easy run for winners

2014-02-24 00:00

AFTER a spell of severe heat in the Midlands and KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday morning’s cool and overcast conditions were welcomed by the 5 000 or so runners who took to the streets to take part in the Witness Maritzburg City Marathon.

The route saw both the 21,1 km half marathon and 42,2 km marathon start outside Merchiston School in Bulwer Street.

The winner of the men’s half marathon was Munyaradzi Jari, who broke his own race record in a time of 1:05:54 (hours, minutes, seconds), while Mamorallo Tjoka took honours in the women’s race. Tanith Maxwell was the pre-race favourite in the women’s 21,1 km, but severe stomach problems forced her out of the race at 14 km.

Jari is also the record holder in the men’s marathon, but he was simply majestic on the shorter route yesterday and he is turning himself into one of the race’s most popular names.

Both the men’s and women’s marathon winners were not challenged yesterday. Lesotho’s Tsotang Maine won the men’s race in 2:25:18, and he wasn’t even trying. “I didn’t even set out to win this,” he told The Witness shortly after his run. “I have been training for Two Oceans in April, and this was just part of my preparations.”

Maine finished third in the Two Oceans in 2011, seventh in 2012 and seventh again last year.

“The weather this morning was really good for running. And after not expecting to win, I am really happy,” he said. “I was just very relaxed the whole way through. It wasn’t a very difficult race and I was never under any pressure from anybody behind me.”

Maine said that he would see how he went in this year’s Two Oceans before deciding whether or not he will tackle his first Comrades Marathon.

“To be honest, I am a little bit scared of Comrades,” he said. “But if I get another top 10 at Two Oceans then I think I will try it.”

The women’s marathon saw Westville’s Cary-Anne Smith dominate from start to finish in a time of 2:57:13 — almost six minutes ahead of her nearest rival. From Westville, Smith found the going easy and also mentioned the cool weather as a determining factor in her smooth run.

“Everybody says that it’s a hard course, but I don’t think so. You do have to work. The first few kilometres were quite tough but I felt better as I went along,” said Smith. “The weather was really awesome.”

The 34-year-old has only ever run the half marathon in PMB, and is self-admittedly a short-distance runner. But her attention now turns — like Maine’s — to Two Oceans and she will then also be tackling the 2014 Comrades.

Results

Men’s marathon

Tsotang Maine - 2:25:18

Sandile Makhaye - 2:25:39

Njabulo Mazibuko - 2:26:14

Maropalla Mosoeunyane - 2:26:58

Gilbert Mutandiro - 2:28:22

Matekase Lefatsa - 2:28:40

Babalo Mtsokoba - 2:28:50

Bongani Msimango - 2:30:27

Peter Tadziripa - 2:30:53

Perfect Dlamini - 2:33:23

Women’s marathon

Cary-Anne Smith - 2:57:13

Fikile Mbuthuma - 3:03:05

Debbie Perry - 3:08:10

Shani Silver - 3:10:11

Helen Buley - 3:12:10

Mapulane Majoro - 3:14:45

Danielle Adlam - 3:16:58

Belinda Padbury - 3:17:29

Zisandele Mkhize - 3:17:55

Nonsikelelo Mbambo - 3:21:16

Men’s half marathon

Munyaradzi Jari - 1:05:54

Prodigal Khumalo - 1:07:03

Philani Buthelezi - 1:07:14

Joseph Kyengo - 1:07:54

Sibonelo Duma - 1:07:55

Slindile Gubese - 1:08:13

Professor Mollen - 1:09:07

Malibongwe Dlamini - 1:09:20

Philani Ngcobo - 1:09:32

Khulekani Ngubane - 1:09:40

Women’s half marathon

Mamorallo Tjoka - 1:21:11

Sithulisiwe Zhou - 1:21:27

Suzette Botha - 1:24:15

Jenet Dlamini - 1:27:07

Janene Carey - 1:27:11

Makhosatana Mhlongo - 1:28:11

Ntebaleng Letsela - 1:31:07

Nomcebo Mthethwa - 1:32:08

Helen Ibbotson - 1:35:21

Kate Gounaris - 1:36:20.

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