42 km women’s race winner Zanie van Rensburg (number 2115) with the top 10 female finalists. Photo supplied
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General Manager of the Northern Region Parks Lombard Shirindzi thanked the Coca Cola Beverages South Africa for a sponsorship that contributed significantly towards the success of the 2017 Marakele Marathon.
Shirindzi was addressing scores of people including spectators and role players who gathered for the prize giving ceremony that took place after the marathon on Saturday, 8 April. The company donated an amount of R260 000 towards the race, of which some amount will go towards conservation issues in the Park.
Over 600 runners gathered for the Comrades qualifier race, which takes place annually in Thabazimbi’s Marakele National Park, a member of the northern region parks. The Big 5 roam saw Phineus Mothoa and Zanie van Rensburg emerging winners in the 42 km men and women’s race respectively.
In his address to the athletes during the prize giving ceremony, Shirindzi said the main objective of the marathon is to give back to the community of Thabazimbi and the day was marking a new era that seeks to use the marathon as a catalyst to attain socio-economic development and environmental protection. He regarded the 2017 race as the best event yet since the inception of the marathon over seven years ago and added that this was simply because of the atmosphere that was created.
“We want people to enjoy the national parks and we provide them with a place of rest. Therefore over and above the official races, we make sure that we provide fun for the whole family. We also extend an invitation to everyone who is yet to visit Marakele and any of our national parks to come and have fun,” said Shirindzi.
He further applauded Shereno Printers, Siemens Healthineers, BestMed and Hlanganani Contractors, as some of the sponsors that made the marathon possible. Shirindzi said next year’s race will be bigger and better, as they have decided that since Marakele is a Big Five National Park, they should offer participants an opportunity to collect all the big five medals.
The top five winners in the 42 km Men’s race include: Phineas Mothoa who won with 2hours 32minutes and 55 seconds, Pharson Magaghane with 2 hours, 37 minutes and 42 seconds, Wesley Mutai with 2 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds, Lucas Donyana with 2 hours, 39 minutes and 50 seconds, as well as Harmans Mokgadi with 2 hours, 40 minutes and 41 seconds. The top five winners in the 42 km Women’s race were: Zanie Van Rensburg with 3 hours, 49 minutes and 11 seconds, Dawn Hadebe with 3 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds, Nataly van Dyk with 4 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds, Moksie Pelser with 4 hours, 23 minutes and 57 seconds, as well as Natasha Coetzee with 4 hours, 32 minutes and 46 seconds.
Northern Region Parks’ spokesperson Divhani Maremba said the 21km, 10km and 5km fun runs also drew large crowds of people including parents with small children, who were much entertained throughout the activities. Marimba confirmed that the next year’s race is scheduled to take place on 3 March 2018 and registrations will open soon.
6 months ago 20 April 2017