Zimbabweans lead nearly 5?ooo runners home in postnet ‘weekend witness’ marathon

2010-03-01 00:00

WITH just under 5 000 runners taking part from throughout the country, the PostNet Weekend Witness Maritzburg Marathon saw a constant snake of humanity wind its way through the City of Choice yesterday with Zimbabweans Samuel Pazanga and Professor Mollen at the head.

The Mr Price duo opened a significant gap on Boxer’s Bongani Msimango and worked together to conquer the race, run in relatively cool conditions after the initial humidity of the start.

In the final kilometre, Pazanga made his move, opening 40 metres over Mollen by the time he took the tape in two hours 22 minutes 35 seconds. The pair were the only two athletes to get under 2hr 30min. Bongani Msimango was third in 2:30:19.

It was a competitive field that headed the women’s race, with Carol Mercer the leader for most of the two-lap tour of the city. Mercer looked to have the race won until Canon Richards Bay athlete Melanie van Rooyen overtook her with just two kilometres remaining.

Van Rooyen took the race and the provincial championship in 3:01:42, exactly one minute faster than Mercer, who at 46 added the 45-49 provincial title and the 40-49 cash prize.

Lauren Dougall of the Mr Price squad was third in 3:08:40, with Maya Lawrie content to train through the race in preparation for the Two Oceans Marathon, where her ability to run under three hours could easily put her among the gold medals and an age-group award.

However, it is highly likely that this will see her go head to head with Mercer, who has a long-standing pedigree in the ultra marathons and was the first South African to finish the 2001 Comrades Marathon.

Although not the fastest marathon course in the country, the event received accolades from most runners.

PostNet Weekend Witness Maritzburg Marathon

Men: 1 Samuel Pazanga MrP 2:22:35, 2 Professor Mollen MrP 2:22:45, 3 Bongani Msimango Boxer (KZN Champion) 2:30:19, 4 Albert Phungula MrP 2:33:04, 5 Hlomayi Machcza MrP 2:36:38

Women: 1 Melanie van Rooyen RBAC 3:01:42, 2 Carol Mercer NED 3:02:42, 3 Lauren Dougall Mr P 3:08:40, 4 Maya Lawrie Boxer 3:10:53, 5 Suzette Botha Eskom 3:11:53

Half-Marathon

Men: 1 Sibonela Duma Boxer 1:09:03, 2 Khulekani Ngubane CH 1:09:37, 3 Thembinkosi Maphalala KZN Stride 1:12:17, 4 Sazi Ndaba Boxer 1:12:37, 5 Philani Ngcobo CH 1:12:38

Women: 1 Danielle Adlam Boxer 1;20:31, 2 Janene Carey Boxer 1:28:26, 3 Kristen Williams Natal University 1:31:39, 4 Fikile MbUthuma NED 1:33::34, 5 Debbie Eaton CH 1:34:57

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