JOHANNESBURG - Someone clearly forgot to tell the Ethiopians just how tough the Mandela Day Marathon is. Why else would the east Africans have smashed both the men and women’s course record on a pretty hot morning yesterday?
But then again, the east Africans have been threatening the records for some time now, that one - in this case two - of them was eventually going to rewrite it.
Just last year, Ethiopia’s Sinyatehu Legese came just 53 seconds short of deposing South Africa’s Thobani Chagwe as the record holder of this difficult 42.2km trek up from Mananye Hall in Imbali just outside Pietermaritzburg to the Capture Site on the outskirts of Howick when he won the race in 2:28:05
In the women’s race Kenyan Loice Jebet got in at 2:50:01, some time off Irvette Van Zyl’s mark of 2:47:15 set back in 2014 on the same day Chagwe ran his record.
In 2017 another Ethiopian Tekletsion Kassahun Tefera had come close to usurping Chagwe when he won the men’s race in 2:28:31.