Mothibi and Bothman both collected prize money of R250,000 for winning the race.
There are race incentives and club incentives for winning the respective legs. However, the runners who performed well in the three races got rewarded for their efforts.
Mothibi did not get the opportunity to run in any race this year, but he promised to win the marathon, and true to his words, he did it. He battled heat conditions to fulfil his goal of being crowned champion.
Mthembu, of Arthur Ford, ran a near-perfect time on the day, but the day belonged to Mothibi, who said that he intends to invest the money for his children’s education.
“I prepared hard for this race and I will invest the money towards my children’s education. The objective was to honour the invitation, but I ended up winning the race. It’s a consolation for missing the Comrades race due to Covid-19 this year,” said Mothibi.
The Rustenburg-based runner only trained for the race in the afternoons because of his demanding work schedule, but his sacrifices paid off.
Bothma finished the race ahead of big names and former Comrades winners Ann Ashworth, the winner of the North West leg in 2:46:14, and Charne Bosman, who won the Pretoria leg in 2:56:19.
The race organisers were happy with the turnout of elite athletes and the excitement generated in the three cities. “SA’s top runners were hungry for a race after being grounded for most of the year. It was evident in the enthusiasm with which they embraced this unique format,” said race director Renee Jordan.