Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
APRIL BLITZES 62:20 HALF-MARATHON
Lusapho April produced a spectacular solo effort in East London on Saturday, clocking the fastest half-marathon in South Africa in two-and-a-half years, as he started his build-up to the Boston Marathon.
The 32-year-old athlete led from gun to tape to win the Border Masters Half-Marathon in 1:02:20.
It was the quickest 21km time run on SA soil since Stephen Mokoka clocked 1:00:57 to win the national title in Cape Town in August 2012.
“This is my first race of the year, so I’ll take it,” April said after the race.
“I was expecting a quick time because I’ve been training hard.”
He confirmed he would compete at a 15km race in Port Elizabeth next week before heading to the United States for the New York City Half-Marathon on March 15.
April, who set his 21km personal best of 1:01:16 to finish 15th at last year’s global championships in Copenhagen, was confirmed in the elite men’s field this week for the New York event.
Organisers revealed he would face a strong field in the Big Apple, including 2012 and 2014 Boston Marathon winners Wesley Korir of Kenya and Meb Keflezighi of the United States, as well as American Dathan Ritzenhein, the bronze medallist at the 2009 World Half-Marathon Championships.
“I’m hoping to set a personal best in New York by going under 61 minutes,” said April, who was third at the New York City Marathon.
He would then return home for his final tune-up race at the Two Oceans Half-Marathon on April 4, two weeks before the prestigious 42km event in Boston.
April finished 15th in his first attempt at the historic race in Massachusetts last season, and he hoped to put up a stronger challenge in the latter stages of this year’s event.
“I want to run quick times in these build-up races to give me confidence going into Boston.”