Willies Mchunu Legacy Marathon set for growth next year

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Former Premier Willies Mchunu has undertaken to work closely with organisers of the marathon hosted in his honour to ensure that it becomes bigger and better in the coming years.

He was speaking following the successful hosting of the 3rd Willies Mchunu Legacy Marathon which started at the Estcourt High School and finished at Umtshezi Sports Field, in Estcourt in the KZN Midlands on Saturday, 07 March 2020. It featured the 21,1km, 10km and 5km races. The 42,2km race was cancelled earlier due to logistical challenges.

The event was organized by Umtshezi Athletic Club in partnership with the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation and Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality and it is aimed at celebrating the former Premier who comes from the area.

“We are happy that this Marathon was a success despite a few hiccups. We will work closely with the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Umtshezi Athletics Club to ensure that next year the race continues to grow. We would like to see an improvement in prize money in order to make it worthwhile for runners who participate in this race. We also want the 42,2km race to happen next year,” said Mchunu.

Mchunu urged local youth to prepare themselves well for next year’s race in order to ensure that the prize money stays in the district.

Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, who represented MEC Hlengiwe Mavimbela, said his Department will ensure that schools from the Uthukela District are mobilized to participate in the race next year as part of efforts to revive sports in schools. He added that the Department will ensure all new schools that are built will have sport facilities, especially in rural areas in order to fast track transformation in sport.

Philani Buthelezi (1:07:08) won the 21.1km males race, followed by Thabang Mosiako (1:07:37) and Sibusiso Nzima (1:07:52) 3rd.
In the females category Loveness Madziva (1:22:20) came first, 2nd Sanelisiwe Mbanjwa (1:22:50), 3rd Rudo Mhanderwa (1:24:05).
The 10km males was won by Tebello Ramakongoana (42:51), 2nd Sibusiso Kubheka (43:11), 3rd Misheck Sithole (43:33). Janet Mbhele (47:01) won 10km females followed by Rutendo Nyahora (47:10) and Thobile Mkhize (47:15) took 3rd spot. (The 10km times were affected by route challenges).

Meanwhile, in the Harry Gwala Marathon held the previous week, 01 March, Loveness Madziva walked away with a R50 000 first prize money for winning the 42,2km women’s race. She was followed by Rutendo Nyahora, with Makhosi Mhlongo taking third spot.

In the men’s race, Ndumiso Sokhela came first followed by Teboho Noosi and Jonas Makhele took third position.

Janet Mbhele won the 21,1km race, Patience Murowe was second and Rudo Mhonderwa was third. In the men’s 21,1km Tebello Ramakongoana took first position, Misheck Sithole came second followed by Ngonidzashe Ncube in third.

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