Big crowds cheer marathon runners

2012-02-27 00:00

DESPITE the scorching heat in the city yesterday, which caused a few runners to collapse during the Weekend Witness Maritzburg Marathon, race organisers rated the event a resounding success.

Four thousand runners hit the road from Longmarket Girls’ Primary School in Bulwer Street, some to run a full marathon of 42,2 km and some for the 21,1 km half-marathon, to end at the Carbineers Drill Hall in Geere Street.

Race organiser John Hall described the race as “unbelievable”.

“We didn’t hear any chirps or murmurs about the race. Nobody complained,” Hall said.

He said that there were a few casualties due to the heat, but nothing serious as the collapsed runners were assisted and got back in the race.

He commended the large spectator turnout, saying there were almost as many spectators cheering the runners along the route as there were runners.

“The city really got off their butts to support the race and runners,” he said.

The heat did not deter runner Bongani Mtolo, who finished the 21,1 kilometres in two hours and 45 minutes.

Mtolo ran the 21,1 kilometres with his wife Zama and his mother Busisiwe.

He said they found the race well organised. Busisiwe made it inside the three hours and 30 minutes cut-off time by a mere minute.

The race was also marked by a few incidents of theft.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said that two cases of theft out of motor vehicles were reported to the Alexandra police station.

A freelance photographer for The Witness, Mark Wing, had his double-cab bakkie stolen while taking photographs.

Wing said he had parked his car in front of the City Royal Hotel at about 6.30 am.

After the race at about 12:30 pm he found that his car was gone.

“The hotel reception people said that they did not know what happened to my car,” Wing said.

He said his car had a tracker and that the tracker company had a live feed from the tracker.

At the time of going to print he said that he was still waiting for police to come to his house to take a statement.

Race report: page 20

Race results will be published in ‘Weekend Witness’ next Saturday

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