More than 340,000kms covered by 21,000 runners in epic Nike Soweto Marathon
Soweto – Sunday November 2nd, 2014: 21,000 passionate runners lined up at the start of the Nike Soweto Marathon, as runners headed into Soweto in their 10 kilometer, 21.1 kilometer and 42.2 kilometer races.
Crossing the 42.2km marathon finish line in the male category in an incredible time of 02:17:55 was Sintayehu Yinesu of Ethiopia with the second place going to Motlokoa Nkhabutlak of Lesotho with a time of 02:18:12. In third place was Tebogo Sello of Lesotho in a time of 02:18:33.
Another champion from Ethiopia, Meseret Biru led the 42.2km women category with a time of 02:36:02, followed by Isabella Jepchumba of Kenya in second place with a time of 02:51:32 and Alemtsehay Kakiss of Ethiopia with a time of 02:52:32.
Yinesu and Biru, the two marathon winners, won the main prize of R100,000 each and a prize from Schneider Electric to attend the Schneider Electric Marathon in April 2015.
The 21.1km event also ended on a high with Joel Moni of South Africa completing the race in a time of 01:07:15 followed by Xolisa Tyali of South Africa with a time of 01:07:15 and Phillip Birech of Kenya in a time of 01:07:36. The ladies finished strong with Mapaseka Makhanya (local Soweto runner) running across the finish line at 01:22:09, with Anna Moeketsi hot on her hills with a time of 01:23:09. Zimbabwean, Samukeliso Moyo completed her half marathon at a time of 01:24:08.
With over 9,000 participants running the 10km race, the event was face paced and highly competitive. Finishing in the male category Desmond Khoza came first followed by Samuel Mathabatha in second place and Derocious Makhobalo in third. Lebogang Phalula finished first in the ladies category with Irvette van Zyl and Lebo Phalula coming in second and third consecutively.
Driven to reignite a sense of community among runners, and focused on celebrating the culture and history of Soweto, the Peoples Race attracted almost 1,000 runners from countries across Africa top Kenyan, Botswana and Zimbabwean runners.
2014 Race Director and Chief Executive of the Soweto Marathon Trust noted during race festivities that this year’s results are proof that there is incredible talent in athletics today. He noted that with the inclusion of names such as the 2012 42.2km marathon champion, Shadrack Kemboi and 2013 Female Athlete of the Year, Mapaseka Makhanya in this year’s 42.2km and 21.1km races along with a string of top athletes has helped to position the race as the country’s foremost running event on the calendar connecting and inspiring runners. He went on to add that over 8,000 female runners made up the total entrants with men making up the majority.
In an incredible demonstration of faith, passion and dedication key partners joined forces with the Soweto Marathon Trust to bring to life the vision of the People’s Race. Expertise, guidance and support were provided by Nike as the headline sponsor followed by the City of Joburg, Gauteng Provincial Government, Schneider Electric and VWSA. These partnerships in Sindani’s opinion have fast tracked the event to world-class status.
The Honourable Mayor of Gauteng, Mr Parks Tau took a moment to remember the fallen South African sporting hero’s in recent days before signalling the South African anthem. He then went onto start the 42.2km marathon with scores of runners eagerly hitting the streets. His Excellency the Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura was also seen offering assistance with the 21.1km start and later joined the 10km event. He was joined by Ms Molebatsi Bopape, the MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation who also put on her running shoes and ran the 10km event.
“Today signals the return of the Peoples Race,” concludes Sindani. “We congratulate all winners and thank our partners for their support. We have been able to achieve incredible feats since July 2014 and would like to express our appreciation to the 21,000 athletes that helped make the day a success.”
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All results will be uploaded to www.championchip.co.za as well as www.sowetomarathon.com.