Tsatsa brakes Loskop Marathon record
Zimbabwean athlete Tabitha Tsatsa stole the show at the 2012 Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon on Saturday when she broke the eight year old record of the 50km race, to pocket the R100 000 record incentive offered by the race sponsors.
Tsatsa crossed the finish line in a time of 3:14.37 for the 50km race from Middelburg to the Forever Resorts Loskopdam. The previous record was set by Paulina Phaho in 2004 in a time of 3:17.31.
"I came back to South Africa to run the Two Oceans but that never materialised so I decided to run this race and I am pleased I did. I enjoy this race and today was good for me," said Tsatsa.
Second place went to another Zimbabwean, Lizih Chokore who said she could not catch the flying Tsatsa, who was determined to win the extra R100 000 on offer at today's race.
Third place went to yet another Zimbabwean runner, Muchaneta Gwata, cousin of Chokore. Gwata is not new to the Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon, having won the race in 2008 in a time of 3:31:37.
The winner of the Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon from Rustenburg, Phillip Molefe, finished in a time of 2:46:07, missing the elusive men's record of 2:44:03 set by Josiah Thugwane in 2005, by two minutes and two seconds.
Molefe looked very comfortable as he started the last climb around the 45km mark, to beat second-placed Phahlale Mohloli by one minute. Mohloli finished in2:47:07.
The 35 year old athlete from Rustenburg has not won a big race before and is looking forward to convincing his coach, Dave Adams, to let him run the Comrades Marathon.
"I hope with this win, my coach will allow me to run Comrades," said the winner.
Third place went to Joseph Mphuthi, who at one stage of the 50km race was in the lead but did not hold it for very long as the lead changed hands many times of the distance. Mphuthi finished in 2:50:37.
Zola Budd-Pieterse, former world cross country champion, was out doing her training run in preparation for her first ever Comrades. Pieterse took the Veteran Ladies title in a time of 3:40:02.
The Forever Resorts Wild Challenge, a half marathon run through the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve attracted the highest number of entries in the race's six year history. The 1 300 runners tackled the challenging route in perfect conditions as the sun rose over the Loskop Dam.
The Forever Resorts Wild Challenge was won by Elmore Sibanda in a time of 1:10:58 and the first lady to cross the half marathon's finish line was Melanie van Rooyen of Richards Bay (1:26:21).