Winners hobble off with R60 000

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens was awash with money as both international winners of the Nedbank Johannesburg Marathon hobbled off home with an extra R60 000 in their pockets.

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens was awash with money as both international winners of the Nedbank Johannesburg Marathon hobbled off home with an extra R60 000 in their pockets.

The pleasant early winter weather was perfect for running and defending champion Simona Staicu landed herself a belated birthday present when she won the women's race in a 2:38:34 - faster than her time last year. The Hungarian turned 36 the day before the race and was all smiles after her below par performance in this year's Two Oceans.

"In Cape Town I had to go to the toilet after 28 kilometres and could just not get back on the pace, in today's race I made my move at the 18 kilo mark and nobody came near me again," she said.

That may well be the understatement of the year - the second place finisher Gloria Baeba trailed in almost 10 minutes later but she did improve on her sixth place and her time of last year.

Multiple Soweto Marathon winner, Sarah Mahlangu (Raiders), now on the wrong side of 40 pocketed the veterans prize with a time of 3:03:42 to claim sixth position overall.

The men's race was a keenly contested affair but in the end it was an almost unknown Zimbabwean athlete, Portipher Dombojena who took top honours.

His altitude time of 2:16:14 was also a personal best and the 24-year-old Hwange Collieries clerk, who had hoped for a possible top 10 finish at best, was having difficulty coming to terms with his achievement.

"This course is very similar to my training route in Hwange but today's race was still tough even though my winning margin made it look easy.

Hard chasing Jabulani Colin Khoza (Transwerk) pocketed the silver medal and a quick R 30 000 with his time of 2:17:54. The bronze medal went to Mathews Nkoana (Powerade).

In the shorter distance it was Free State star and defending champion Boy Soke (UOFS) who took the R5 000 first prize in the 10 kilometre distance, clocking 29 minutes 41 seconds beating Willy Mwangi (29:46) and Vaal University student Stephen Mokoka (29:50).

The women's 10km race was won by Namibian Helaria Johannes at 34:30 ahead of Mamarolla Tjoka (35:20) and Harmony's Tabitha Tsatsa (35:24).- Sapa

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