COMRADES MARATHON CUT-OFF DISAPPOINTMENT
By: Chelsea Pieterse
Leading a crowd of runners desperate to reach the half-way point of the Comrades marathon, Jimmy Sibiya was the first man to miss the six hour cut-off in Drummond yesterday.
The 48-year old from Vosloorus, Gauteng, missed crossing the halfway point by seconds as race officials set up barriers to prevent runners from continuing on the world’s most popular ultra-marathon.
“I am just very disappointed because I came so close. I think the problem was with my speed,” said Sibiya.
Although Sibiya was not able to finish this year’s Comrades Marathon, the veteran police officer was confident that 2015 will be the year he finishes his twelfth.
“I have done eleven marathons but my last one was in 2009 and I thought I was ready, but I was wrong. I am definitely going to run next year when my training is right,” he said.
Sibiya was amongst eighteen thousand runners taking on the 89km ultra-marathon downhill from Pietermaritzburg to Durban this year.
South Africans cheered loudly as KwaZulu-Natal’s own Bongmusa Mthembu entered the Sahara Kingsmead stadium, crossing the finish line with an impressive time of five hours and 25 minutes, taking the first place title by five seconds.
According to race organisers, 1 ton of chocolate was dispensed and 660 000 bottles of Energade were handed to runners.