Mandela Marathon a success

THE cold and windy weather experienced on Sunday did nothing to deter the spirits of Pietermaritzburg residents as they cheered on the runners in the seventh edition of the Mandela Marathon, which took place between Imbali and Howick.

Runners and residents took to the streets of Imbali from the morning, with some warming up their bodies and some their voices, to support their loved ones and the various participating runners.

The marathon went smoothly with barely any disturbances, even though organisers ran out of water towards the end of the event, and only minor injuries were reported.

“No one died and no one suffered any serious injuries,” said one of the marshals, Philani Mtungwa.

Brandan Shunmoogum said that it was the first time he had run the marathon and that he would definitely be returning. “I recently started running marathons and this was one of the best ones thus far. I will be back again, no doubt,” Shunmoogum said.

Though everything was reported to have went smoothly, some irate residents took to deflating tires of entrants who parked with no consideration for others as their cars occupied flower beds, loading zones and disabled parking bays.

Despite this, Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo declared this year’s marathon better than any other marathon that he had been to before.

“This is the fastest growing and biggest marathon in South Africa with the seventh year attracting 24 000 athletes,” marveled Njilo.

Sintayehu Legese Yinesu, from Ethiopia, and Loice Jebet, from Kenya, won the men’s and women’s 42,2 km race while Bernard Bii, from Kenya, and Mamorallo Tjoka, from Lesotho, won the men’s and women’s 21,1 km category.