Cape Town - Asefa Mengstu Negewu successfully defended his SANLAM Cape Town Marathon title.
Running in a lead pack of six athletes, Negewu went through 10km in 30:18, some 13 seconds behind pace maker Henry Kiplagat.
Pace maker Henry Kiplagat extended his lead to 34 seconds over the chasing pack. Kiplagat went through to the half marathon mark in 1:04.29 with the pack clocking 1:05.03.
“Defending my title was important to me. I am really happy to be able to defend my title as this race put me on the map”, said Negewu.
Second was country man Ketema Negessa who came in at 2:11.06 with Duncan Maiyo of Kenya taking third. His time was 2:11.26.
Pace maker Helalia Johannes went out at a blistering pace and reached in 1:15.22. Strung out behind her were all the race favourites some 38 seconds adrift.
Less than a kilometre before the finish line, Johannes was caught by Betelhem Moges who went on to win in 2:30.22, Johannes coming through 6 seconds adrift (2:30.28) and Agnes Kiprop third in 2:31.00.
“I was looking for 2:27 or faster, but the pace between and 10km and 25km was a bit slow, so I lost some time there”, said Moges.
Elroy Gelant’s 5th place means he was the first South African home and earned him a R100 000 bonus. Irvette van Zyl 9th earned her R12 000 plus the R100 000 bonus.
"There is no doubt now that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has established itself on the global stage. We have IAAF GOLD Label Status and have seen times that we are not used to in South Africa," said race ambassador Elana van Zyl – Meyer.
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon boasted a mass field of just under 8000 entrants.
Yegs Ramiah, Chief Executive of Brand at Sanlam, said “Congratulations to all the 2017 winners and each and every participant in this year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.”
“For Sanlam, our investment in Africa, in our brand and in this event, is based on successful partnerships and the belief that together we can unlock the true potential and talents of people across the African continent.”