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The successful hosting of the inaugural Nquthu Race and Fun Run is expected to attract more economic spin-offs for the Umzinyathi District, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, with plans to grow the race into a fully-fledged marathon in the near future.

The race, organised by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation, saw thousands of Umzinyathi District residents descend to the Nquthu Stadium and along the route to cheer on athletes who participated in the 10 km and 5 km runs as well as the 2 km wheelchair race on Sunday, 09/04/17.

The race also incorporated selections for the KZN Provincial Youth Run which will be held in Durban on the eve of the Comrades Marathon (03 June).  Each district will send 25 selected athletes, and the rest will join as schools groups.

Addressing the crowd after the race MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, said the intention was to establish and grow the race into a 21 km half marathon by next year and on the third year to extend it to a full marathon of 42 km.

“As a Department, we have identified community engagement as one of the vehicles for social transformation. We want the community of Nquthu to be active citizens and live a healthy lifestyle by partaking in sports,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.

“It is very pleasing to see that this race has participation from all sectors of the community including the disabled persons. We have plans to grow this race to an annual marathon which will put Nquthu on the map.”

The MEC also emphasized that the growth of this marathon will have economic spin-offs and also boost tourism for the Nquthu area. “Nquthu has a great tourism potential due to the historic events that attract international tourists. This event will enable community development and social cohesion,” she added.

She also urged the community to be tolerant of each other ahead of the upcoming bi-elections in the Nquthu Municipality scheduled to take place on May 24.

The event also gave a platform to the local artists to showcase their talent.

The winners of the 10 km and wheelchair races won prize monies, while all the other participants received medals.

The results of the 10 km race are as follows:



Females: 


  1. Thembelihle Zungu       (48:03)             R3000 
  2. Ntombifikile Mthongo    (48:57)             R2000
  3. Lindokuhle Gabela        (49:50)             R1000        
  4. Nokukhanya Mtshali      (49:51)             R 500
  5. Minenhle Mkhize           (50:49)             R250

Males:

  1. Siyabonga Sikhonde       (34:32)            R3000
  2. Ayanda Ncube                 (34:51)           R2000
  3. Bhekani Sithole                (35:18)           R1000
  4. Ayanda Ngcobo                (35:32)          R 500
  5. Basil Mazibuko                  35:39)           R 250

The wheelchair race winners received R2000, R1500 and R500 prize money, respectively.

  
 
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