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First time marathoner Debeko Dakamo Dasa won the very tough Soweto Marathon

Debeko Dakamo Dasa, from Ethiopian won the Soweto Marathon as a debutant.  

The marathon is very tough and many local runners are advised to never make it their first marathon lest they get dissuaded from pursuing the event.

That advice does not apply to east Africans though, and Dasa proved this yesterday by cantering to victory.

His victory ensured that Ethiopia’s dominance of the Soweto Marathon continued unabated as he followed in the footsteps of three-time champion Sintayeho Legese, who did not run this year.

Dasa clocked two hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds to beat Kenya’s David Maru (2:18.48), who had run him close for most of the race as they ensured that South Africa continues to search for that elusive success in the race last won by a local back in 2011.

“I am happy with my first win in the marathon. I would like to come back next year to defend my title. I had no idea about the race. It was very hot and it had too many hills,” Dasa said.

The best South African man in the marathon was Ntshindiso Mphakathi who came home in eighth place in 2:19.45.

It was the third time Mphakathi finished as the best local in the race as he also did so back in 2015 and 2017.

The day, however, belonged to Ethiopian marathon debutant Dasa and there can be no denying this victory in the tough Soweto Marathon will set him up for success in the more renowned but much easier marathons in the world.

(11/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Soweto Marathon

Soweto Marathon

The Soweto Marathon is an annual event which takes place in Soweto at the NASREC Expo Centre. It is a circular race and will begin and end at the Expo Centre.The marathon is sponsored by Energade, Netcare 911 and the MTN Expo Centre. Metro police will be directing traffic where there are road closures on the day.The Soweto Marathon is...

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Irvette van Zyl is slowly regaining her form in time for the defence of her Soweto Marathon title

She proved this at the weekend when she ran a credible 34:40 to finish third in the Johannesburg leg of the Spar Women’s 10km Grand Prix Series.

That run ensured she finished as the best-placed South African and third overall in the six race Series. Only the invincible Helalia Johannes of Namibia and Ethiopia’s Tadu Naru got the better of her.

A tearful Van Zyl spoke of the joy at finally sorting out an injury that has troubled her for close on a decade thanks to an operation she had recently.

“It has been troubling me for seven years. I did not know what was happening with my left leg until someone found what was wrong and I did the operation.”

But she had to wait a while before going under the knife: “I waited for so long for the operation to happen. I had to wait during pregnancy as the doctors thought it would be too risky to do it at that time.”

While she has not fully recovered, Van Zyl is delighted to be back on the road.

“It is good to be running again although I am still not feeling well a 100 percent. The medication I have been taking is giving tough times.”

There were no signs of her being unwell on Sunday though as she raced into an early lead and set the pace for the initial two kilometres before the amazing Johannes took over.

“Helalia has been unstoppable this year setting new records wherever she runs. It has not been easy for us to compete with us, especially for me as I was recovering from the operation. But I think we ran great times, we are improving.

“Remember my operation was only three months back. But I am happy with my performance in the Johannesburg leg. I am also excited with podium finish.”

The Spar Series success has lifted her confidence for next month’s Soweto Marathon where she is not only the defending champion but also the record holder.

“Of course I would like to defend my title again this year,” she said.

(10/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mbongiseni Buthelezi
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Soweto Marathon

Soweto Marathon

The Soweto Marathon is an annual event which takes place in Soweto at the NASREC Expo Centre. It is a circular race and will begin and end at the Expo Centre.The marathon is sponsored by Energade, Netcare 911 and the MTN Expo Centre. Metro police will be directing traffic where there are road closures on the day.The Soweto Marathon is...

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South Arrican’s Irvette Van Zyl breaks the course record at the Soweto Marathon

Queen of South African distance running Irvette van Zyl conquered the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon in style, claiming back-to-back titles and posting a new course record yesterday. Van Zyl broke the foreign stranglehold on last year's race and kept it in South African hands just five months after giving birth. She won the race in a time of two hours, 33 minutes and 43 seconds, chopping two minutes and 19 seconds off the previous record Ethiopian Meseret Mengistu Biruin set in 2014. The Olympic marathoner won bronze in 2016 before winning gold last year, becoming the first South African female winner since René Kalmer in 2009. “I didn't think I would actually run the record today because last night I was thinking about it and thought that's a bit fast,” Van Zyl said. “Having a baby five months ago and breaking the record is reaching too far out and I worked out the last two days I could do it but I thought maybe my watch was wrong.” Ethiopian Sintayehu Legese Yinesu won his fourth Soweto Marathon title, winning the men's race in 2:19:10. (11/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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President Cyril Ramaphosa will take part in the soweto Marathon in South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa will take part in the 2018 Old Mutual Soweto Marathon that starts and finish at the iconic FNB Stadium on Sunday. The president will line up alongside the strong field of some 30,000 athletes‚ who will be pounding through the streets of the historic township. “Yes I can confirm that President Cyril Ramaphosa will be running," said race director Danny Blumberg at a media briefing at FNB Stadium on Thursday. Blumberg said Ramaphosa will join the runners as a normal South African but withheld the race that the head of state will be running. “I think we are going to leave it as a surprise as to what distance he will be running‚” said Blumberg. The main race will start at 6am‚ followed by the 21‚1km at 6.30am while the casual runners resume at 7am. The 30,000 strong field is expected to crisscross the streets of the historic township in the energy-sapping route‚ more than half of which is hilly. It is forecast to be hot and humid on Sunday but race director Blumberg said there will be water points and more than one million water sachets that will be provided to the runners. (11/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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When Tsepo Mathibelle won the Soweto Marathon last year it changed his life, he wants to repeat

2017 Soweto Marathon winner Tsepo Mathibelle is back in the country and ready to defend his Old Mutual Soweto Marathon title. His win last year was one of the highlights of his career clocking 2:19.50. On Sunday, the target is on his back with numerous rivals gunning for the title. "So far things are going the way I want them to in terms of my physical and mental readiness," Mathibelle said. "I have made a few changes in my training program.  This marathon requires a bit of speed to be able to break away at the 20km mark." He said his victory in 2017 and the R220000 ($15,190US) prize money changed his life in a number of ways and did enhance his training. "I was able to buy a car and am now able to travel to faraway places to train at high altitude. So, I am better prepared this year... before I used to struggle," he said. The 27-year-old will dedicate this year's race to his father, Molefi, who passed away earlier this month. (11/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Lungile Gongqa thinks it is about time a locale runner wins the Soweto Marathon

It's about time a South African ended the foreign domination of the famous Old Mutual Soweto Marathon. Lungile Gongqa, a former Two Oceans Marathon champion, believes the country’s runners have to make it a point that they end the “seven year itch” for the People’s Race title. “I reckon the time has come for the race to have a local runner winning it after all these years,” Gongqa said as he looked ahead to the November 4 marathon through the country’s biggest township. The last local runner to win the marathon was Michael Mazibuko, who romped home in 2011 by clocking two hours, 19 minutes and four seconds. While he was careful not to make any bold promises, Gongqa will line-up for the start just outside the FNB Stadium intent on being the first one to enter the iconic 2010 Fifa World Cup venue some two hours later. “I will be targeting a top 10 finish but if they can allow me some space like they did in Two Oceans then I will win it. I will go all the way to claim my first title of the race.” Gongqa will have to overcome the challenge of the Lesotho and Ethiopian runners, who have dominated the race in recent years. Add to that the fact he will be making his debut in one of the toughest marathons in the country and Gongqa’s attempt at glory is made all the more difficult. (10/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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