Black Ribbon Race for Boston

Just over 5000 athletes lined up to start the race of the 28th Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon delegates and race organisers dedicated a minute of silence in memory of the Boston Marathon Bombing that took place on Monday, 15 April. The event shocked not only the running fraternity but sent shock waves throughout the world. Athletes wore black ribbons to show their support running the race labelled the Black ribbon race.

We are deeply saddened by the news of the bombings that took place at the Boston Marathon Race on Monday. It is truly sad that a sports event that is meant to draw people closer in camaraderie is used to target soft and innocent victims,” says Kobus Tait, Managing Director at Forever Resorts South Africa.

Facing a dismal start to the 28th running of the Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon, from Middelburg to Loskop Dam, 50km away, with rain pelting down before the race began, Dthaniel Phahlane had no idea that he would become the winner of this Comrades qualifying race in a time of 2:46:10 later.

Phahlane’s winning time was two minutes off the record of Olympic gold medal winner, Josiah Thugwane,  who set the record in 2005, and the runner missing out on a great cash incentive of  R100 000. But under the poor weather conditions the time was very impressive. Second place finisher, Seun Moleshoea was the front runner from Kranspoort pass until the final hill, where Phahlane took the lead. It was a well-timed, perfectly planned tactic by the Transnet runner, who knew when to strike and take the lead for victory.

The novice Loskop Marathon winner is a novice runner at this race and was overjoyed with his victory.
“Before the race it rained, but at the start it did not rain. But 10km into the race it started to rain hard. I thought I must just push on. When I saw the one runner stop I said I must just carry on and at 40km into the race I knew I could win this race,” said Phahlane.
He is planning to rest now and then compete in a race in June in Sweden.
“I am hoping for an invite from the organisers of this race and with this win I am sure they will invite me. I will go there and compete anyhow,” said the Mpumalanga resident who is still young in running terms at 28. He said he will only run Comrades when he is over 30 years of age.

“I had problems with my hamstring and had to look back to see who was behind me when Phahlane passed me on the right,” said another Middelburg runner who won this race two years ago, Moleshoea. His finishing time for the 50km race was 2:50:06.

Joseph Mphuthi finished third and was very disappointed with his finish as he came to win this race.
I won this race in 2010 and wanted to win again today,” said Mphuthi.
“Finishing third again is not good. I finished 15th at Comrades last year and want to finish in the top ten this year. We will see how things go. I came second at City to City and want to win this year,” said the soft spoken athlete, who came into the finish in 2:50:25.

Jennifer Keoch, from Kenya, running in Nedbank colours won the women’s race in a time of 3:18:11, followed by Zimbabwean athlete Lizhi Chokera, full four minutes later, with her cousin Muchaneta Gwata a further 11 minutes behind her in third place.

Issued by: Lara Doundoulakis
On behalf of: Forever Resorts, Department of Culture Sport and Recreation – Mpumalanga Province and Middelburg Marathon Club.
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