Cape Town - South Africa ultra running sensation Caroline Wostmann defended her Two Oceans Marathon title in a time of 3:44:47 in Cape Town on Saturday.
Despite claiming, as she did in 2015, that she would be taking the race as a training run Wostmann powered her way to victory in the final few kilometres to put yet another exclamation mark down behind her domination in women’s ultra distance running in South Africa.
Though Tanith Maxwell had recovered from her struggles during the latter stages of the race, her strong finish was not enough to stop the historic run of Wostmann who flew past with the finish line nearing. Maxwell clocked a time of 3:45:58, just over a minute behind the winning time. In third was Ethiopian Bosho Fikadu some way behind in 3:47:43.
Wostmann, defending Comrades Marathon champion, also closed out a brilliant month of running as she won the Om die Dam Ultra Marathon on March 12. It means Wostmann holds the three major Ultra marathon titles in South Africa, including the defence of her Two Oceans title.
One of the other major stories in the women’s race, was the performance of SA-born American Colleen de Reuck who at 51 years of age set a new record in the master’s division with her time of 3:53:10 as she also claimed fifth place overall.
Earlier, Maxwell charged through halfway in 1:49:06, over two minutes ahead of Fikadu.
Maxwell lost her lead to Bosho over the next 60 minutes, as the three-hour mark approached. While the lead changed hands upfront, defending champion Caroline Wostmann and Charne Bosman were closing the gap on the top two.
Up Constantia Nek, Wostmann moved ahead of Bosman as it began to look like a repeat victory was on the cards.
Just over the 3:20 mark, Maxwell regained her lead over a slowing Bosho. But just behind was Wostmann who was charging through.
And in the final few kilometres, it was all Wostmann as she broke out of training mode and raced to the finish for another breathtaking victory on her growing list of titles.
Women results 56km (unofficial): 1 Caroline Wostmann (RSA) 3:44:47, 2 Tanith Maxwell (RSA) 3:45:58, 3 Bosho Fikadu (ETH) 3:47:43, 4 Charne Bosman (RSA) 3:48:43African News Agency