JOHANNESBURG – While Stephen Mokoka won last year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in record time, the men’s top 10 was once again dominated by east Africans.
Apart from Mokoka, two other South Africans - Benedict Moeng (sixth) and Desmond Mokgobu (10th) - made the top 10.
With the race organisers expecting more international elite athletes for this year’s race taking place on September 15, it would appear the challenge for South Africans to dominate will be all the more tougher.
The organisers are hosting a ‘50 Days To Go’ Countdown event in the Mother City next Wednesday where they are set to announce "the finest elite marathon field ever assembled on African soil".
Expectations are that Mokoka will be back to defend the title he won in fantastic style. Mokoka, participating in a local event for the first time in years, lived up to his star billing when he got home in a fast time of 2:08:31.
But Mokgobu is going to miss this one out as he will be racing the Doha Marathon around that time while Moeng is likely to participate. Mokgobu’s teammate Pharson Magagane, who finished 21st last year will be back in the race.
An interesting participant this year will be Impala’s TK Moshwetsi who came to the fore during the Comrades Marathon. New to the scene, Moshwetsi surprised most when he held the lead in the ultra two and a half hours into the race and looked to be doing well and seemed strong only to stop after the halfway mark at Drummond.
According to his coach Dave Adams, Moshwetsi was never at Comrades to race or even complete it but was rather using it as preparation for the Cape Town Marathon.
No doubt this year’s race will be a hotly-contested affair what with the organisers also looking to impress the IAAF in their application to have the race upgraded from Gold Label Status to Platinum.
Once again, the race aims to make a real impact in key areas that with which the world is grappling - among those being climate action, affordable and clean energy, health and wellbeing as well as peace.
Said Sanlam’s Head of Brand Mariska Oosthuizen: “Our sponsorship of the marathon is very much aligned with our vision of making a positive difference in people’s lives. We deal on a daily basis with one out of four people impacted by cancer, so we try to join hands with people and decrease the incidents of this dreaded disease.
This year we’ve extended our partnership with the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), asking runners and supporters to raise funds to help beat cancer.”@Tshiliboy