Cape Town - Olympic marathoner Lungile Gongqa took a comfortable win in the 2017 Old
Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, crossing the finish line in 03:09:43 and becoming
the first Capetonian since 1973 to take the Ultra title.
Gongqa, running his first Ultra Marathon in Nedbank colours, was part of the
lead bunch from the start, but broke away after the 47km mark - and again at
52km - to ultimately outpace Lesotho athletes Warinyane Lebopo (2nd
in 03:10:21) and Teboho Sello (3rd in 03:11:48) to the finish line.
In the women's race, Belarusian Maryna Damantsevich had a convincing lead by
the half marathon mark, and set the pace early on after a mishap at the start
convinced her she had fallen behind. She finished her race with a 10-minute
"Someone bumped into me at the start and I fell a few times. I thought I
was in second place, but couldn't find the woman in front of me, so I ran
faster to catch up," Damantsevich explained via coach Anatoliy Bychkov.
"I am very happy about my win, and I loved everything about the
Jenna Challenor had a strong maiden Ultra, and finished second in a time of
03:47:32. Tanith Maxwell followed in third place, finishing in 03:55:42.
The women's race was left wide open after a hamstring injury brought defending
champ Caroline Wöstmann's race to an abrupt end at the 11km mark.
In the Half Marathon men’s race, Namakoe Nkhasi successfully defended his title
and set a new OMTOM Half Marathon course record in a time of 01:03:15, beating
Khoarahlane Seutlaoli (1:03:45) in second place, and David Manja
(1:04:19) in third place.
Nkhasi was ecstatic about his record-setting win and added that not even the
windy conditions could keep his eyes off the prize.
In the women’s race, Irvette van Zyl reclaimed her Half Marathon title in a
time of 01:13:53. Nolene Conrad arrived at the finish line about 30 seconds
later finishing in second place (01:14:27), while Louisa Leballo came third
“This is a very special race, despite the tough conditions” said Van Zyl.
"The wind provided quite a challenge, but I am so happy to come back and
take the win.”
After a few days of rain, the 2017 edition of the world’s most beautiful
marathon dawned to a cool and windy morning with the promise of clear skies.
Although there was a stiff breeze along parts of the route, runners described
the day's conditions as great for running.
According to race doctor, Dr Adrian Rotunno, the medical tent didn’t see too
many trauma incidents, which can be attributed to favourable running
“Some of the most common medical issues included mild dehydration, and a few
incidents of exercise-associated postural hypotension where only the simple
treatment with lower limb elevation was necessary. Cramping was another
complaint as the day progressed.”
Old Mutual R1 million bonus stands
Title sponsor Old Mutual’s R1 million prize bonus to the male and female runner
breaking the Ultra Marathon records remains safe, as the 1988 and 1989 records
established by Thompson Magawana (03:03:44) and Frith van der Merwe (03:30:36)
respectively, continue to stand.
1st: Lungile Gongqa – Nedbank RC Western Cape (3:09:43)
2nd: Warinyane Lebopo – Maxed Elite - Lesotho (3:10:21)
3rd: Teboho Sello – Maxed Elite - Lesotho (3:11:48)
1st: Maryna Damantsevich – Nedbank RC International – Belarus (3:37:13)
2nd: Jenna Challenor – KPMG Running Club KZN (3:47:32)
3rd: Tanith Maxwell – Boxer Superstores AC (3:55:42)
1st: Namakoe Nkhasi – Nedbank RC International - Lesotho (1:03:15) * new record
2nd: Khoarahlane Seutlaoli – Maxed Elite - Lesotho (1:03:45)
3rd: David Manja – Nedbank Development Club Central North West (1:04:19)
1st: Irvette van Zyl – Nedbank RC Gauteng North (1:13:53)
2nd: Nolene Conrad – KPMG RC WP (1:14:27)
3rd: Louisa Leballo – Nedbank RC Gauteng North (1:15:00)