Former SA Marathon Champion David Gatebe beat a highly competitive field
to take the coveted men’s title, crossing the line in 3:08:54. Gatebe, who is a
sporting officer at the Implats Mine in Rustenburg, said 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.” Second place went to local Nedbank runner Mthandazo Qhina (3:10:02),
while Moeketsi Mosuhli (3:10:23) from Lesotho claimed third place.
For the first time since 2007, the Russian twins, Elena and
Olesya Nurgalieva, could not achieve a win. In fact, neither even made the top
three this year, citing flu suffered just three weeks before the race as the reason
for their relatively poor performance, by their normally lofty standards.
Instead it was their countrywoman Natalia Volgina, winner here in 2002, who
came home first in 3:38:38, just over a minute ahead of second-placed Thabita
Third went to an elated and fresh-looking Charne Bosman, the highest-placed
South African, who has won the Two Oceans Half Marathon three times as well as
three SA Marathon titles. She only recently stepped up to ultras and appears to
have found a new niche for herself.
In the half
marathon, both the men’s and women’s winners set new course records, despite
the windy conditions. Stephen Mokoka won the men’s race in a time 1:03:36,
beating two-time defending champion Lusapho April and Joel Mmone in an exciting
sprint finish. In the women’s race, Ethiopian Biru Meseret Mengista stormed to
victory in a time of 1:12:43, shaving more than two minutes off the course
record set last year by Rene Kalmer, who managed to take second place, while
third went to Irvette van Blerk.
MASSIVE INCENTIVE FOR 2014
before the 2013 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, at the pre-race media briefing,
the big news broke about an upcoming cash incentive to be offered by the race’s
title sponsor, Old Mutual. In 2014, a cash prize of R1 million will be up for
grabs for the winning man and woman if they break the ultra-marathon course
record. Currently, the records belong to the late Thompson Magawana (3:03:44)
and Frith van der Merwe (3:30:36), and these were admittedly set on the old,
supposedly easier course that finished at Brookside inside of up the hill at
UCT, but there are sure to be fireworks in next year’s race as the top men and
women chase after a lucrative payday!