Cape Town - Over 19 000 runners took to the streets of Soweto in the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon this morning, 01 November 2015.
The race started and finished at the Expo Centre in Johannesburg (NASREC), connecting runners from all over the world to six significant heritage sites dotted along the 42.2km marathon route including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Walter Sisulu Square, Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Morris Isaacson High School, Vilakazi Street and Hector Pieterson Memorial.
The marathon men’s race was won by defending champion, Sintayehu Legese Yinesu from Ethiopia, crossing the 42.2 km finish line in a time of 02:23:20. Zimbabwean athlete, Mike Fokoroni, took second place in a time of 02:24:12, followed by John Kirui from Kenya, who completed the marathon in 02:24:42.
“I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity by Old Mutual, Soweto Marathon and the support from Nedbank Sport Athlete Development Initiative through their development of Ethiopian as well as South African runners,” said Yinesu through his translator. “Without their support it would not have been possible for me to defend my title and take the first prize for a second year running.”
Yinesu and Chebore, the two marathon winners each take home R200 000 in prize money.
Akopo Africa, showed fine form winning the women’s 21km race in 01:19:34, while Elroy Gelant took the honours in the men’s race in 01:06:33.
In the 10km race, Namakoe Lucky Nkasi won the men’s event, while Rutendo Nyahora took the women’s title.
For the first time all three routes, including the 21.1km and 10km races, took runners through the heart of Soweto, challenging all participants to revel in the township’s rich history, taking on the baton and carrying out the vision of the greats that’s walked these streets and changed the course of South African history.
“True to tradition, The People’s Race attracted widespread support, with Soweto residents lining the streets, which added a unique spirit and atmosphere to this occasion,” said Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Chief Marketing Officer of Old Mutual Emerging Markets. “With Soweto’s rich history and diverse culture as backdrop to the race, we believe that it’s a race every South African should do at least once in their life, and we’re looking forward to returning next year for the 2016 Old Mutual Soweto Marathon to give the rest of South Africa the opportunity to experience it for themselves.”
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