Running clubs gear up for Soweto Marathon

2012-10-27 11:55

Amid battles of ownership and uncertainties surrounding sponsorship for the Soweto Marathon, prominent athletics clubs are putting the final touches to their preparations for the flagship 42km race next Sunday.

Toyota Athletics Club have confirmed the registration of defending champions Michael Mazibuko and Mamorallo Tjoka, who both run in their colours.

The team’s manager Lucas Mongatane says it’s an almost impossible mission to defend the two titles but their target is six gold medals.

“Training programmes for our athletes has gone smoothly and I am satisfied with the progress of Papi (Mazibuko) and Mamorallo,” said Mongatane.

He said Tjoka had recovered from a hamstring injury that she carried during the Olympic Games marathon in London two months ago.

The Lesotho national – who came second in the Township to Township Marathon in Durban last month – will be gunning for a record sixth title.

She clinched last year’s race in a record 2:43.40, a time that was 14 seconds off Rene Kalmer’s mark in 2009.

Elsewhere, the Nedbank Running Club and Formula 1 Bluff Meats have put together line-ups that are mostly dominated by runners from East Africa.

“We have a good mixture of local guys and Kenyan runners in our team,” said the legendary Nick Bester, who is in charge of the Nedbank side.

Headlining the Kenyan line up is Timothy Kibet who won the inaugural Gauteng Marathon Kilimanjaro as well as David Kiprono, the winner of the Kilimanjaro Marathon who boasts a personal best of 2:11.

Formula 1 manager Cliff Chinasamy said: “We are definitely going all out for desired results in the Soweto Marathon. Our athletes did dominate the top five in the Mossel Bay and Nelson Mandela Marathons recently and we are looking forward to Soweto.”

Bonitas Athletics Club have a champion of their own in Tshifiwa Mundalamo who won the women’s City to City Marathon last month.

They also have Mpho Mabuza who cannot be underestimated when it comes to road running.

The Soweto Marathon will start and finish at Nasrec next Sunday.

»?Read City Press on Sunday to find out how the Gauteng government bailed out the tradition-steeped race.

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