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'My run in Cape Town Marathon still feels like a dream'

Frans sets new personal best after brave showing

Melikhaya Frans (red) of Ikhamva Athletics Club and race winner Stephen Mokoka (orange) racing with the leading bunch at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon at the weekend.
Melikhaya Frans (red) of Ikhamva Athletics Club and race winner Stephen Mokoka (orange) racing with the leading bunch at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon at the weekend.
Image: Supplied

The joy of running a new personal best over 42.2km at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is still overflowing for SA's prominent long-distance runner Melikhaya Frans.

Frans, 31, shed tears of joy when he ran 2:11:28 to finish sixth, a credible improvement on his last PB of 2:13:50 at the London Marathon last year, where he finished 21st.

“My new PB at the Cape Town Marathon still feels like a dream. I am happy with my race and want to achieve more. [Race winner Stephen] Mokoka kept me going and often asked if I was okay during the race," Frans said.

"The Kenyans and Ethiopians ran together as a unit, and as a fellow South African, he pushed me to run faster. After the 39km mark, I dropped out of the leading pack and started to lose momentum,” he told Sowetan yesterday.

“I earn a living through the sport, since I started running a marathon in 2017. I want to thank my coach (Mike Mbambani), he is my inspiration, and together we want to achieve big things.”

Mbambani has been coaching Frans since 2016, and the pair are on a mission to win a major marathon in the near future. The Ikhamva Athletics Club star finished 10th and 11th place at the 2017 and 2018 Cape Town Marathon, making his 2021 the best in that race.

Mbambani said: “Frans plans to run and finish a race. He is a racer, and we have a plan for the world champs and the Olympics. He is a hard worker and a dedicated runner. He does his talking with his feet, not his mouth.”

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