MAKHETHA AND ALEBACHEW WIN MANDELA MARATHON

 
Updated: August 30, 2015

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Foreign athletes dominated the Mandela Day Marathon in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
Matela Makhetha of Lesotho held off a charge from Ethiopian Sufa Damessa to win the men’s race, covering the challenging 42km course in 2:28:16 to secure victory by eight seconds.
Sikhumbuzo Seme was the first local athlete home, taking third place in 2:29:40, with four SA men finishing among the top 10.
Ethiopia’s Selam Alebachew coasted to a comfortable win in the women’s race in 2:52:28, and though she was more than five minutes outside the course record set by Irvette van Zyl last year, she crossed the line more than seven minutes ahead of second-placed Kenyan Immaculate Chemutai (2:59:38).
Makhosazane Mhlongo, a KwaZulu-Natal resident, was the first South African to finish, ending fifth in 3:07:41 as she led three SA women into the top 10.
Lucky Mohale edged fellow South Africa David Manja by four seconds to win the men’s half-marathon in 1:05:11, and Durbanite Jenna Challenor made a victorious return from a knee injury to bag the women’s 21km title in 1:19:14.
Challenor was more than two minutes ahead of compatriot Janie Grundling, who finished second in 1:21:49.
The men’s 10km was won by versatile distance runner Elroy Gelant in 30:16 and Louisa Leballo earned the women’s crown in 37:17.
Over 13 000 runners participated in the fourth edition of the annual race, held in memory of late former SA President Nelson Mandela.