Big guns eye Two Oceans

2011-03-19 20:00

Defending Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon champion Mabuthile Lebopo heads the list of accomplished runners who have entered the 56km race in Cape Town next month.

In fact, the majority of last year’s top 10 finishers across the men’s and women’s categories will be lining up in the April 23 ultra-marathon, race organiser Rowyn James told City Press shortly after the cut-off date on ­Wednesday.

“The big guns often delay their entries so as to keep other athletes guessing in the build-up to the race.

I can confirm that most of the athletes who were in the 2010 top 10 have re-entered,” said James.

Besides Lebopo, other prominent entries include three-times winner Marco Mambo of Zimbabwe and his compatriot, Moses Ndjozi (2006 champion), as well as the Lesotho contingent of Moeketsi Mosuhli (last year’s runner-up), Teboho Sello and Lebopo’s younger brother, ­Warinyane.

The Nurgalieva twins, Olesya and Elena, have also confirmed their places in the women’sultra-marathon.

Olesya won last year in a victory that underlined the Russian sisters’ dominance in the ­women’s ultra race over the past three years.

Other decorated female runners whose entries came through were Zimbabwe’s Samukeliso Moyo and the local lass, Riana van Niekerk.

Van Niekerk came sixth last year but she dusted herself off to claim the Loskop and City to City titles.

The half-marathon attracted a record field of more than 14 000 ­entries.

In another development, the race office announced that the first-prize purse had been increased from R150 000 last year to R250 000 for the first man and woman home on April 23.

The race starts in Newlands and will follow its scenic route across the Cape Peninsula, right through to the finish at the University of Cape Town.

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