F21 race is back again

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

It is that time of the year again when excitement and passion will be reaching the highest level among budding and professional athletes when they compete in the yearly F21 Marathon in the Limpopo mining town of Namakgale in Phalaborwa on July 26.

The organisers have promised to make the 16th edition of this event bigger and more enthralling.

Athletes from across South Africa and neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho are expected to come in large numbers.

Zimbabwean athlete Portipher Dombojena, who won the men's section of this popular race in 1:03:27 last year, is said to be training hard to defend his title.

Dombojena's win, though, was not good enough for him to break the record of 1:01:55 that was set by Ezael Thlobo back in 1997.

"With the standard of athletics improving in South Africa and in other parts of the African continent, hopefully a new record will be set for future marathoners to put in good performances in subsequent editions of the F21 Marathon," said Alfred Pitse, president and chief executive of the Foskor Group.

"It is through initiatives like the F21 Marathon that we assist the government and other like-minded stakeholders to further build South Africa as a sporting nation and we are aware what good sportsmanship can do in healing rifts and transforming societies to embrace peace and dwell on positive aspects of life.

"For us, the F21 Marathon is an extension of the South African dream and as a proudly South African-owned company, we are living that dream.

"Hence we continue to invest in the growth, empowerment, development and unification of the Phalaborwa community," Pitse added.