For the ninth year in a row, Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa has sponsored the popular Gauteng-based Jackie Mekler road race. This year, the race took place on 10 May 2014, and was once again organised by the Pretoria Military Marathon Club (PMMC), which has been running this event since 1986.
The event is named after Comrades Marathon legend, Jackie Mekler, who dominated the event between 1953 and 1969, achieving ten golds and five Comrades wins. He was also the first to make it to the finish line in less than six hours in 1963. To date, he is still one of only five people to have won the Comrades Marathon on a grand total of five occasions.
The race, which bears his name, is made up of a 25 and a 10 kilometre run, as well as a five kilometre fun run. All three races were exceptionally well attended, with over 3,000 runners taking part, all of whom were grateful for the fine race conditions, with clear skies and no wind.
This year's overall winners for the 25 kilometre run were Sikhumbuso Seme for the men, who came in in 01:21:09; with last year’s ninth position, Marli van Staden, leading the pack for the women this year, coming in in 01:44:00.
In the 10 kilometre run, Derocious Makhobalo and Paulina Phaho were first across the line for the men and women, in 32:00 and 38:26 respectively; Phaho was also placed first in the Veterans category (40 to 49 age group).
Says Ritchi Smith, marketing coordinator at Konica Minolta South Africa: "Konica Minolta South Africa is proud to be associated with this prestigious race for the ninth year. It is a superb event, attracting some of the top distance athletes in South Africa. As always, it was a resounding success, with some excellent times; a wonderful morning out for all involved."
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©2016 Konica Minolta South Africa (operated by Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd).