NOVICE RUNNER BEATS COMPETITIVE FIELD TO WIN THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL MARATHON
Novice runner David Gatebe beat a highly competitive field at the 44th Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon today in a time of 03:08:54. Gatebe, who is a sporting officer at the Implats Mine in Rustenburg, says the strong winds did not play a major role in his run. “I decided to pull away from the other runners after about 34km and managed to keep ahead. It’s a great feeling to win and I am very happy. I’m now heading to the Comrades Marathon in June and hope to repeat my success there.”
Second place went to Nedbank runner Mthandazo Qhina (03:10:02), who competed in his fourth Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, while Moeketsi Mosuhli (03:10:23) from Lesotho claimed third place.
For the first time since 2007, the Russian twins – Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva – could not achieve a win, with compatriot Natalia Volgina winning in a time of 03:38:38, just over a minute ahead of second place Thabita Tsatsa from Zimbabwe.
Third place Charne Bosman was elated with her race. “I didn’t expect to claim a podium finish. I started a little slower but when the sun came out I moved ahead and when I passed the twins I knew I had a chance to finish among the top runners.”
In the Half Marathon race, both the Men’s and Ladies winners established new course records despite the windy conditions. Stephen Lesego Mokoka (Team Transnet) won the Men’s race in a time 01:03:36, beating Lusapho April (Oxford Striders) and Joel Mmone (Nedbank Development) to the finish.
In the Ladies race, Ethiopian runner Biru Meseret Mengista stormed to victory in a time of 01:12:43, shaving more than two minutes off the course record, set last year by Rene Kalmer, who managed to take second place. Third place in the ladies 21km went to Irvette van Blerk in a time of 01:15:20.
A record field of athletes lined up at the start of this year’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in cold and windy conditions, although the rain that marked last year’s event did not make an appearance. Race director Rowyn James says he is happy that the weather still allowed for great race conditions. “Today has been a terrific day, with a record field, a number of record-breaking runs and some great upsets – especially in the Ultra Marathon. And with our long-term sponsors Old Mutual announcing that they will offer an additional R1-million to the winning male and female runner if they break the Ultra Marathon course records in next year’s event, 2014 is set to be even bigger and better.”
1st: David Gatebe (Impala Platinum) (03:08:54)
2nd: Mthandazo Qhina (Nedbank) (03:10:02)
3rd: Moeketsi Mosuhli (Mr Price) (03:10:23)
1st: Natalia Volgina (Nedbank) (03:38:38)
2nd: Thabita Tsatsa (Mr Price) (03:39:57)
3rd: Charne Bosman (Bonitas) (03:40:19)
1st: Stephen Lesego Mokoka (Transnet) (01:03:36)
2nd: Lusapho April (Oxford Striders) (01:03:40)
3rd: Joel Mmone (Nedbank) (01:03:45)
1st: Biru Meseret Mengista (Nedbank) (01:12:43)
2nd: Rene Kalmer (Nedbank) (01:14:54)
3rd: Irvette van Blerk (Nedbank) (01:15:20)
For a full list of results and category winners for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half and Ultra Marathon, please visit www.twooceansmarathon.org.za)
Issued by: Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Media Office
Contact: Lauren McMinn
Tel: (021) 686 2331