Mtolo’s odd record in city’s marathon

2017-02-24 11:26
Twice Comrades Marathon runner-up and New York Marathon winner is looking forward to running the Witness Medihelp Maritzburg City Marathon that takes place on Sunday.

Twice Comrades Marathon runner-up and New York Marathon winner is looking forward to running the Witness Medihelp Maritzburg City Marathon that takes place on Sunday. (Ian Carbutt)

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When the legendary Willie Mtolo started the 1998 Maritzburg Marathon half-an-hour late, he had no idea that he would still finish the race in a record time.

It is an unofficial record that still stands today.

His record of finishing the 42,2 km race in two hours and 13 minutes could not be entered officially as he did not start the race at the correct time.

“But I still ran. I ran because I love running and back then I was younger so I chased the crowd of racers and made it to the front,” Mtolo (54) said.

He arrived at the Carbineers Hall 30 minutes late for the marathon that started at 5 am.

“I was stuck in traffic and got there late. I needed to run the race as I was going to run the Two Oceans a little while after that,” he said.

His unofficial record time is seven minutes faster than the current men’s record.

Based on this and the world qualifying criteria, the marathon’s co-naming partners, Medihelp Medical Scheme have offered a bonus prize of R10 000 should this year’s winner beat the time.

The winning woman must finish under two hours and 45 minutes or the winning man must cross the finish line in less than two hours and 15 minutes to win the prize.

The bonus prize would be over and above the R3 000 prize for a win.

Mtolo said he was looking forward to the race this weekend because of the “nice vibe, familiar roads and it is very well organised”.

“I haven’t run in a marathon in two years and this is the first one since then so I am not going for the win. I am doing it for the love of running,” he said.

Mtolo won the Two Oceans Marathon twice, won the New York City Marathon and was runner-up twice in the Comrades Marathon.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  comrades marathon

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