THE chance a local athlete took paid off when he won the 21 km race of the 777stet Run and Walk for Life Club Marathon at the Flamingo Casino on Saturday (23/07). Having just recovered from a knee injury, Pule Botsane (27) has his training partner, Mkhuseli Dayiya (who came second in the race), to thank for managing to pull through. Jakob Danster finished third.Botsane, a member of the Griqualand- West Athletics team, is now diving straight into preparation for the South African cross-country championship that will be held in September.Various clubs from Kimberley and the surrounding area participated, with athletes running either the 7 km, 14 km or 21 km race.“I now realise that this was a chance worth taking. I honestly have him (Dayiya) to thank, because I would not have made it as far as the finishing line if it were not for him. I was recovering for the whole of June and just decided to take a chance to test my potential in this race,” says Botsane.Winning the race, he believes, is an indication he is now ready for the challenge. “I want to make my province proud by confidently representing it at the national 21 km races. “I had to cancel some of my races after the injury, as I was not sure how far I could run.”Another challenge Botsane is looking forward to is the South African qualifier championship expected to be hosted in Daniëlskuil soon.“Surely I will win it, dark or blue,” he said.Having represented the Northern Cape several times in 10 km races, the enthusiastic athlete rates himself among the top ten South African champions representing the province, as he feels the Northern Cape is not well-represented at that level.Other resultsThe 14 km race was won by Nathan Edwards (20), who reveals the last time he won a race was two years ago, when he was still a junior.He had made a vow that he would start training every morning and every afternoon.For Edwards, also a member of the Griqualand-West team, this is his first win after he started to compete with professionals in 2015.“I told myself that I was going to win this race when I started. I could, however, have done better if I had trained harder,” Edwards says.According to the young athlete, it was his first 14 km race and he felt ready for both the 14 km and 21 km races at this stage.