SA’s April on the podium at New York Marathon

2013-11-06 00:00

LUSAPHO April became the third South African to climb the podium of the ING New York Marathon since the international return in 1992, when Willie Mtolo won the event.

The win was repeated in 2004 by Hendrick Ramaala who went on to have an incredible stride-by-stride sprint finish battle to finish second to Paul Tergat in 2005.

This year saw April run a maturely paced race to finish in third behind Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai and Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede in a time of 2:09:45.

April went into the race with a best marathon time of 2:08:32 set in Hanover in May 2012 and beat many faster runners to finish behind Mutai and Kebede, both having previously run 2:04. Clearly the 31-year-old from the Eastern Cape has more to come.

Durban artist Henk Vos completed the marathon in less than six hours taking another step forward in his “Circle of Life” artwork, which has been a means for the 67-year-old to raise a substantial amount of funds for Wildlands Save the Rhino fund through the sale of prints of the painting.

Jeptoo Priscah ran a perfect tactical race to take the lead of the women’s race just four kilometres from the line and then left Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba 250 metres adrift. Priscah was a mere seven seconds over the 2:25 barrier, while Jelena Prokopcuka also moved through to complete the podium places.

South Africa had another podium place in the wheelchair event where Ernst van Dyk was given the same finishing time as Marcel Hug of 1:40:14, but the Swiss racer was given the nod by the line judges.

Van Dyk has been a prolific medallist in the big city marathons in the states and is a multiple winner of the Boston Marathon.

• Siyabonga Nkonde won the Jeremiah Ngwenya 10 km around Pinetown in a credible 30:50, opening 80 metres over Zimbabwean Elmore Sibanda, who has been making something of a comeback in recent months.

Mangaile Khatoane from the Phatane club was third in 31:45, while it was junior Slindile Chili who took the honours in the women’s race.

• Although both this Saturday’s Newcastle Nite race half marathon and Sunday’s Saints Thornville 15 km are on, there have been a substantial number of events cancelled between now and the festive break.

The Bluff Vet’s 21 km (November 17), Chiltren Nite Race (November 22), Wings 15 km (November 24), Heatonville Race (November 24) and the DAC 10 km (December 15) have all been cancelled, leaving only another seven events before the end of the year.

The Newcastle event starts from the local swimming pool on Saturday at 4.30 pm and offers runners and walkers the choice of a 10 km or 21 km distance. André Grundlingh has more details on 083 653 2865.

• Back in the City of Choice on Sunday, Saints host the Thorntree Challenge with options of a 15 km and 10 km route, which takes runners up to the Hesketh conservancy from the start at St Charles College grounds.

The 10 km is open to walkers and runners and the race begins at 7 am.

Alan Kockett has the details on 083 440 6765.

Mtubatubu Jeremiah Ngwenya Results

Men: 1. Siyabonga Nkonde 30:50

2. Elmore Sibande 31:03

3. Mangaile Khotoane 31:45

Women: 1. Slindile Chili 39:18

2. Makhosi Mhlongo 39:41

3. Gabela Linokuhle 40:51.

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