THE top prize of R15 000 for the 21 km Ced-Matat Annual Heritage Race was won by Lesotho runners in both the men’s and women’s categories last Sunday.In the 21 km men’s results: Lesotho runner Jobo Khatoane came first in a time of 1:02,21, and was followed by another Lesotho runner, Lebenga Nkoka, in a time 1:04,30. Zimbabwean runner Pazanga Samuel finished in third place in a time of 1:04,43.In the women’s category, Lesotho runner Tjoka Mamorallo came first in a time of 1:19,15, followed by Loveness Madziva from Zimbabwe in a time of 1:19,27. Mokulubete Makatisi from Lesotho came in third place at 1:19,41. In 2016, the race was won by Khatoane in a time of 1:07 and last year it was won by David Manja from Lesotho in a time of 1:06. Khatoane won the top prize on Sunday of R15 000, Nkoka took the second prize of R8 000 and Samuel won the third prize of R4 000. In the women’s race, Mamorallo won the top prize of R15 000, Madziva won R 8 000 and Makatisi won R4 000. The race was initiated in 2013 to build social cohesion, champion youth development and fight crime. It is supported by the Matatiele Local Municipality, the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the Ced-Matat Athletics Club. “Our cheers go to all winners and participants in this year’s race. I also appreciate all the visitors who came to make this pride of Matatiele athletics a success. “The Heritage Race started in 2013 to re-instate the 24 km race between Cedarville and Matatiele that took place in the early eighties,” said Matatiele Mayor Momelezi Mbedla.He said the rationale behind the race is to build social cohesion, give free expression and creativity, both mentally and physically, to human beings especially the youth, and to promote tourism in Matatiele through sport. Thabiso Mohoto, the chairperson of Ced-Matat Athletics Club, called for local runners to pull up their socks to win the race next year. Mohoto thanked local sponsors for supporting the event. This year’s race was attended by runners from Kenya, Lesotho, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Maclear and Mthatha.