South African Athletics
The Kenyans are coming!
Cape Town - With Old Mutual having pledged R1 million each to the first male and female runner to break the course record for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in 2014, interest in the race is being shown from all quarters with the most recent confirmation being that the Kenyans are coming!
Several Kenyan runners will be part of the Old Mutual Running Club starting line-up for this year’s race. They include Dubai Marathon 2011 winner, David Barmasai, and fearless fast runner Nickson Kipketer Koech, who are both serious challengers for the record.
Breaking the record is going to be a tall ask: the women’s course record has stood for 25 years when in 1989, on a brutally hot day, Frith van der Merwe set an astonishingly fast pace to finish in a winning time of 3:30:36
One year earlier in1988, the late Thompson Magawana, running his first Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, bettered the course record by six seconds in a winning time of 3:03:44
The closest any runner has come since then is Zimbabwean Marko Mambo, who ran 3:05:39 in 2005, who has won the race three times. Russian Olesya Nurgalieva ran the second fastest women’s time in 2008 when she crossed the finish line in 3:34:53. Olesya has a personal best marathon time of two hours and 27 minutes.
The R1 million course record now makes the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon the most rewarding road race in the Southern Hemisphere and the richest ultra-marathon in the world.
Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, General Manager Marketing for Old Mutual says, “We want to encourage top runners from around South Africa and the rest of Africa to come and compete in the biggest road running event on the African continent.”
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon attracts 16 000, 10 000, 7 000 and 1 000 ultra, half-marathon, fun and trail runners respectively.
The 2014 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon will take place on Saturday, Arpil 19.