Nearly 3 000 tackle Selati Marathon and fun run

Vezisithembiso Phathwa, Lucky Shisane, Tintswalo Mnisi and Terrence Mavimbela.

 

The sheer number of people streaming into the Malelane Rugby Club for the Selati Marathon on Saturday delayed the start of the main races somewhat, and the 21km and 10km runners hopped and bounced in impatience and even started singing.

At the roar of the starting cannon, the group of 1 450 set off on the route winding past the Crocodile River and through the sugar-cane fields.

Renée Sutherland of Riverview Prep fires the cannon to start the main races.

The fun-run participants, who numbered a staggering 1 270, ranged from babies in prams to seniors.

About an hour into the race, it started raining softly, but did nothing to dampen the spirits of the runners.

Althrough there was a participation increase of about 11 per cent, organisers expect that the wet and cold weather had a negative influence on the number.

The watering points, manned by divisions of the local RCL Foods mill, once again competed for two trophies and provided runners with hydration and encouragement.

RCL Foods Agricultural Division swept people off their feet, winning both the runners’ and judges’ trophies.

Deirdré Botha of Nashua Lowveld with the Sunbake men and 10km third-place winner Shanté Jacobs.

Besides providing a great atmosphere and scenic route, all participants were rewarded with goody bags at the finish line, packed with products from sister companies and divisions within RCL Foods Sugar and Milling.

Local schools, organisations and individuals set up stalls with food, beverages, kids toys and entertainment – which proved very popular. An inflatable fun park also provided hours of fun for the little ones.

During the prize-giving, the top participants in each category were rewarded with cash prizes and medals.

A special trophy was also handed to the race’s oldest participant, Dr Willem Bekker, in honour of his support and commitment.

Dr Willem Bekker is the Selati Marathon’s oldest runner and has participated more than 16 times over the years. This was his last race and organisers honored him with a trophy.

The 75-year-old former managing director of TSB completed his 16th and last Selati Marathon and thanked the organisers for a well-organised race. “I know sugar has gotten a bad reputation in the media lately, but I drink Selati sugar every morning for energy,” he said. “My motto is make every day a special day.”

In the 21km open category for men, Folavio Sehohle of Puma won in a time of 1:06:31, followed by Abednego Mashab of Born to Win with 1:07:29 and Botha Hennwood of RS Police with 1:09:21.

The top three ladies were Samkelusuwe Khumalo of Shalom with 1:29:09, Nomvula Sithole of Nkomazi with 1:33:59 and Pricialla Dlamini with 1:37:11.

In the 10km, Mothlalepula Mothosola from Nedbank crossed the finish line first with 30:55, followed by Samuel Mathabath of TomTom with 31:05 and Prince Ndluvu of Run Walk for Life with 31:34. Winnie Minisi of Nedbank LVCC was the ladies’ winner with 42:22. Nontokoza Dlamini of Nedbank LVCC was second with 43:59 and Shanté Jacobs third with 47:01.

For detailed results, visit www.prontocs.co.za.

Thanks to the success of this year’s event, the organisers are more committed to making next year’s race – set for May 12, 2018 – even more enjoyable.

Keep an eye on the Selati Marathon Facebook page for news and entry forms.

Check out the video gallery with dozens of photos here.

  AUTHOR
Retha Nel

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