Home Sport Phakamile Mabija Human Rights half marathon turns out to be a runaway...

Phakamile Mabija Human Rights half marathon turns out to be a runaway success

Senior men’s podium are (from left): Mathew Loeto (bronze), Morena Dijana (gold), David Manja (silver). Picture: Supplied

We are particularly pleased with the display of unity by the AGW clubs through their support and participation in the race – Lorato Banda, AGW president.

SOUTH African Olympian Lebogang Phalula easily won the senior women’s section of the Phakamile Mabija Human Rights half marathon road race in Kimberley on Monday morning, breaking the tape in just under an hour-and-half (1.22.29).

Phalula, one part of the famous marathon running twins, ran against a field which included Central University of Technology track and field star Thobile Mkhize and Anna Moeketsi, who all completed the course around 30 minutes short of two hours.

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Phalula clocked 1.22:29 and silver medalist Mkhize stopped the clock at 1.24:59 while eventual bronze medalist Moeketsi clocked 1.28:29.

The other Phalula twin sister ran against herself in the women’s 40+ category. In the 50-plus section Club VKRR’s Charmaine Ras was the undisputed champion and Hannah Erasmus was the best of the best in the 60 age category.

The podium for the 21.1km women’s race. First: Lebohang Phalula (gold), Second: Thobile Mkhize (silver), Third: Anna Moeketsi (bronze – absent). Picture: Supplied

In the men’s senior section Dijane Morena scooped the gold medal for breaking the tape at 1.05:49, while right behind him David Manja made the podium collecting silver for a time of 1.05:55. Mathews Loeto snapped up the bronze medal with a time of 1.08:16.

The race organisers managed to also field candidates in four more categories for mature male marathon runners. In the 35-age section Top Gun club’s Siwell Nyedima raced against the route, as did Obakeng Riet (Club KGA) in the 40-age section. Duncan Jopete was unchallenged in the 50-plus section while sports administrator Farrel Moses was the title holder in the 60-age category.

Race participant in the senior men’s section Lebogang Shuping said in his social media status: “This was a well organised race covering parts of town and township. With more such races we could advertise the potential that Kimberley has whilst also highlighting some of its icons”.

Besides the actual road race, the memorial race is run as a virtual marathon as well. The results of those still have to be collated and verified. The race was launched in 2020 but was cancelled owing to the hard lockdown in that year. An attempt was made the next year to host it in part as a virtual offering.

Teemaneng Running Club representative Lorato Banda, who is also the president of Athletics Griqualand West, thanked the race participants and commercial sponsors for the immense help they afforded the association to get the race on the map.

“AGW wishes to congratulate Teemaneng Running Club on hosting a very successful Phakamile Mabija Human Rights Half Marathon. We are particularly pleased with the display of unity by the AGW clubs through their support and participation in the race,” he said.

“Congratulations are also in order to all the winners, particularly the athletes who won prizes as local ,AGW domiciled athletes. AGW calls on all clubs to follow suit by organising more races to provide opportunities for our athletes to take part in,” Banda added.

Banda promised that they will definitely host the race again should all things stay unchanged.

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