SOUTH AFRICA’S GIFT AT THE FINISH LINE
By: Sonia Hendricks
Running enthusiasts from across South Africa and the globe descended upon KwaZulu-Natal for the 90th Comrade’s Marathon yesterday.
South African policeman Gift Kelehe who lives in Rustenburg, won his first Comrades Marathon in a time of 5:38:36.
He finished seven minutes and 39 seconds ahead of second placed Ethiopian Mohammed Husien.
Shortly after crossing the line, Kelehe, who was embraced at the finish line by his brother Andrew who won the race in 2001, proceeded to do push-ups.
In the women’s race, it was a double victory for South Africa as another local,Caroline Wostmann, this year’s Two Oceans Marathon winner, clinched the women’s race, finishing in a time of 6:12:22, followed by yet another South African Charne Bosman.
Former runner, Johan Van Staden, said he was pleased with the winners of both male and female categories.
“I must say I had hope in South Africa for this year’s marathon, but didn’t expect to see winners like this. Hats off to them,” said Van Staden.
This year’s race was an ‘up’ run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, following a route that is slightly longer than previous years.
The route is alternated annually, with the route from Pietermaritzburg to Durban referred to as the “down run”.
2015 Comrades Marathon top three:
Men: 1 Gift Kelehe, South Africa, 5:38:36 2 Mohammed Husien, Ethiopia, 5:46:14 3 Hatiwande Nyamande, South Africa, 5:48:19.
Women: 1 Caroline Wostmann, South Africa, 6:12:22 2 Charne Bosman, South Africa, 6:33:24 3 Elena Nurgalieva, Russia, 6:40:36