First Capetonian wins Two Oceans Ultra Marathon since 1973

A Capetonian has won the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon for the first time in more than four decades.

Lungile Gongqa crossed the finish line at the University of Cape Town with a winning time of 03:09:43 in the men’s ultra, the first Capetonian to do so since 1973. He was also the first male South African to win this marathon since 2013.

Maryna Damantsevitch from Belarus made her debut at the Two Oceans this year and walked away with the first prize in the women’s ultra-marathon. She ran the 56-kilometre race in 03:37:13.

A total of 83 countries were represented in the race this year, such as Germany, the United Kingdom and Guatemala.

Matthew Simson, an athlete from London, said that he came all the way to South Africa to participate because “there couldn’t be a more beautiful city to run in and the route is absolutely spectacular”.

Namakoe Nkhasi from Lesotho set a new record in the 2017 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) while he defended his title. His time was 01:03:15.

He broke Stephen Mokoka’s record of 01:03:36 that was set in 2013.

Irvette van Zyl from Pretoria was the first woman in the half-marathon and placed 39th overall with a time of 1:13:53.

The runners-up for the ultra-marathon were Warinyane Lebopo and Jenna Challenor. Teboho Sello and Tanith Maxwell placed third.

Khoarahlane Seutlaoli and Nolene Conrad came in second place for the half marathon. David Manja and Louisa Leballo earned the third place.

According to Shaun Ronné, the communications co-ordinator of the OMTOM, they have received more than 25 000 entries for the OMTOM Half Marathon in 2017. Only 16000 athletes were allowed to participate. For the first time, there were more women than men participating in the half marathon. There were 8754 women and 7426 men.

Of the total entries of 11 000 for the ultra-marathon, 7782 were men and 3218 women.

Martinette Hay

The male and female winners of the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, Maryna Damantsevitch and Lungile Gongqa, after the prize giving ceremony. PHOTO: FACEBOOK