Locals shine in CT marathon

2015-09-22 06:00
Lebo Dinah Phalula crosses the line to win the Cape Town Marathon Peace 10?km run/walk in Green Point on Sunday.

Lebo Dinah Phalula crosses the line to win the Cape Town Marathon Peace 10?km run/walk in Green Point on Sunday.

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The annual Cape Town marathon took place under uncharacteristically muggy conditions in Green Point over the weekend.

Local athletes, William Kaptein and Lebo Dinah Phalula outclassed a quality field to win the men’s and women’s titles in the 10 km run/walk on Sunday.

While the endurance stars were battling it out for the 42 km title, the speedsters showed their class in a highly competitive race over the shorter distance.

Kaptein charged to victory in 28:34, with Elroy Gelant taking second place in 34:10 and Abed Nico Mashaba finishing third in 34:20.

In the women’s race, Phalula earned a well-deserved win in 34:12, crossing the line 16 seconds ahead of Mapaseka Makhanya.

“The 10 km distance is ideal for younger athletes who are still building towards the marathon, and it is perfect for amateur runners who are not yet ready to tackle the classic distance, so it plays an important role as part of the Cape Town Marathon,” said Elana Meyer who is an ambassador for the race.

“With road running experiencing another boom in South Africa, we expect the 10 km distance to continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.”

Meanwhile, in the main event, the 42 km race, Shadrack Kemboi from Kenya proved to be the strongest athlete on the day, defying weather conditions to notch up a win in the men’s race.

Despite the dominance shown by the East Africans, there was a strong South Afrcan charge as Lungile Gongqa finished second and Michael Mazibuko finished third.

Another Kenyan, Isabella Ochichi, earned a superb victory in the women’s race.

With humidity at between 70% and 80%, the East African winners battled somewhat, while the South Africans took full advantage of the overcast weather, putting in an excellent performance behind their international counterparts.

Kemboi crossed the finish line in 2:11:41, with Gongqa taking second place in 2:11:59 and Mazibuko grabbing the final spot on the men’s podium in 2:12:29.

Ochichi romped to victory in the women’s division in 2:30:20, while Eunice Chumba from Bahrain finished second in 2:33:12 and Kenya’s Joan Rotich third in a time of 2:37:45.

“I always wanted a marathon victory, and I believe that it would come in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2014, but I got it today on my home continent – Africa – and I couldn’t be happier,” said Ochichi.

The 42 km race boasted a large field of 5 728 participants in only its second year, in which it is aiming to achieve the IAAF’s coveted Gold Label status. A total of 4.5% of entries were from outside of South Africa, with 51 countries represented at the race. Sixty-two entrants came from the USA, 21 from Germany, 20 from the UK, followed by smaller numbers from Sweden, Kenya, Canada, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zambia and Japan.

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