Husband-and-wife, Muhajr Haredin and Sofiya Shemsu from Ethiopia were the winners at the 8th edition of the Mandela Day Marathon after both scorched to record times on Sunday

Haredin clocked a time of two hours, 26 minutes and 18 seconds (2:26.18) to beat the previous best mark of 2:27.12 that was set by South African Thobani Chagwe when he won the title back in 2014.

The 26-year-old finished ahead of countryman Wondwosen Ketema Mamo (2.27.44) by 86 seconds, with Lesotho’s Teboho Noosi (2.27.47) third.

Speaking afterwards, Haredin admitted it was a tough race, but he was thrilled with the outcome.

The first South African to cross the line in the race from Imbali in Pietermaritzburg to the Nelson Mandela Capture site was Ntsindiso Mphakathi, while former record holder Chagwe ended fifth.

The race has been dominated by Ethiopians in recent years and 2019 was no different as Haredin beat the warm conditions of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to win the race comfortably for the first time.

His reward was the an impressive R100 000, plus an additional R50 000 for breaking the record. He says bettering Chagwe’s mark was just a bonus.

Around 14 000 athletes entered Sunday’s three main race categories – the 42 kilometers, 21km and 10km.

And while Haredin walked away with men’s honors, spouse Shemsu did the same in the ladies race.

Her time of 2:45.21 was a massive nine minutes ahead of compatriot and double winner Selam Abere Alebachew (2:54.25), with local Sanelisiwe Mbanjwa (3:03.37) third.

Shemsu’s time smashed the 2014 record of 2:47.15 set by Irvette van Zyl. 

posted Monday August 26th