Maseko is going for third win in a row
Nthuthuko Maseko of Nedbank LVCC Nelspruit Running Club will be going all out to win the Nedbank Om-die-Dammetjie 21,1km Marathon for the third time in succession.
The race takes place at Witklip Dam in White River, Mpumalanga, on Saturday.
Maseko, 27, successfully defended his title last year when he won it in 1hr: 4min; 20sec.
His time was two minutes better than his 2006 triumph when he clocked 1hr: 6min; 39sec.
"This year I'm looking at improving my record again. My preparations have been going very well and my fitness has improved a lot," he said.
Last week Maseko, who hails from Kromdraai in Mpumalanga, added another medal to his collection when he won the Sabie 2-In-1 32km Marathon in 1hr: 53min; 20sec, beating Sipho Ngomane of Comrades Marathon fame, who came second four minutes later.
The rivalry is expected to give each other a tough contest again on Saturday.
"I respect Sipho and running alongside him I learn a lot. My focus on Saturday will be to improve my time and any athlete looking to win must beat my clocking time," said Maseko.
In the women's race, last year's champion Norah Sibanda of Nelspruit Marathon Club is expected to easily defend her title as she always dominates local races.
Sibanda won the race last year in 1hr: 58min; 33sec.
This year's event will be celebrating its seventh year. Meanwhile, there will also be a 10km race on the day.