Record entries for the 2016 Marakele marathon

Park Manager, Johan Taljaard, flanked by the two winners in the men’s and women’s catgories of the 42 km Marathon, Elijah Mogoboya and Andrenica Mokgotla respectively.
Park Manager, Johan Taljaard, flanked by the two winners in the men’s and women’s catgories of the 42 km Marathon, Elijah Mogoboya and Andrenica Mokgotla respectively.

THABAZIMBI – Professional and fun runners were in high spirits at the 2016 Marakele marathon which took place on Saturday 27 February. A record number of 727 people registered for the marathon which is in its 7th year and serves as a qualifier to the world renowned Comrades’ Marathon.
The marathon dubbed “a run on the wild side” takes place in Marakele National Park and this year it really lived up to its name as some runners experienced what it is to come face to face with a mock-charging elephant. “I was about 7 km to the finish line when I came across an elephant which truly was not in a happy mood, I am so grateful for the rangers who make sure that we are safe at all times whilst on the race” one participant said.
This year’s race was tightly contested with Elijah Mogoboya retaining his 2015 championship in the 42km marathon with a time of 02:33:42, two minutes ahead of Rufus Photo the 2014 champion. Andrenica Mokgotla won the female race in the same category with a time of 03:16:56 ahead of Lesley Train-Austin who came 3 minutes later. In the 21km half marathon Ntsekele Moshetwi won the male race with an amazing time of 01:10:44 whilst Lizzy Dlhiwayo won the female race with 01:38:47.
Some of this year’s highlights include a team from the nearby game farm Thaba Tholo, which registered 30 people to participate in the different categories of the race and Greg and Vira, a couple from the US who happened to be in Marakele and was looking for activities to do in the area found themselves in the right place at the right time. “We are so excited that we could participate in the race as part of our activities in Marakele, super excited that we got to walk in the Park and experience the bush at its best.”
Rosalyn Elf of Thaba Tholo was so excited that their team was part of the marathon and had this to say “We believe that a fit body gives you a fit mind, and we saw this as an opportunity to do some physical activity as a team, furthermore this was a chance to publicly support our local national park in its conservation efforts”.
Marakele National Park Manager, Johan Taljaard said “we were faced with so many challenges in staging the 2016 race due to the withdrawal of the main sponsor of the race. At some stage we even contemplated cancelling the 2016 race but feel indebted to the people of Thabazimbi and the country at large who year after year have contributed to the phenomenal growth of this race. We are glad we did not cancel because we reached our largest number yet”
The 2017 race entries will be open towards the end of the year, be on the lookout.
Issued by: South African National Parks (SANParks)