It’s been little over a week since the 50th Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon took place, and the golden anniversary of this iconic Cape Town-based race wasn’t without a bit of drama.
After the SAPS raised concerns over the safety of runners when threats of disruptions on the Chapman’s Peak section of the race were made, the route was altered on the eve preceding the race. Unfortunately, this also led to the cancellation of what would be the first relay event in the OMTOM’s history.
But, despite these challenges, it was all systems go on Saturday, 20 April, with close to 500 runners ultimately finishing the long trail run, another almost 500 completing the short trail run, and thousands more bringing months of hard work in the lead up to fruition.
It was a great day for South African running, as South Africans took the top spots in both the headline events of the day.
Participants in the short trail run made quick work of the route: the overall winner, Kennedy Sekhuthe, finished in just over 45 minutes, with Rineldo January and junior runner Giovanni Sampson following closely behind. Georgia Grobler was the winning woman (00:54:50), followed by Dwain Swiegers and Sharon Kenmuir in second and third.
The OMTOM long trail run winner was Kane Reilly, with a time of 01:55:51, showing heels to second and third place winners, Jacquis Antilahifeno and Prodigal Khumalo. In the women’s category, Cana Peek won with 02:38:44, and Daneil Feldmann and Bronwyn Gordon took second and third.
21km Half Marathon
The Half Marathon part of the 2019 OMTOM was won by South Africa’s Elroy Gelant in a time of 01:03:19, followed closely by Lesotho runner Jobo Khatoane, with Lesego Mokoka taking the final podium spot. In the women’s race, Namibia’s Helalia Johannes took the top spot in a winning time of 01:10:29, with Betha Chikanga and Fortunate Chidzivo taking second and third place, respectively.
56km Ultra Marathon
There was no surprise when three-time Comrades winner Bongamusa Mthembu crossed the finish line first in a winning time of 03:08:39, although his race with second-place winner and seasoned marathon athlete David Gatebe was a fight to the end. Kenyan runner Justin Kemboi Chesire came in third. Gerda Steyn didn’t just win her second consecutive OMTOM, but also did it in a time that was just 44 seconds away from breaking Frith van der Merwe’s long-standing record, set in 1989. Steyn finished in a time of 03:31:28, well ahead of second-place winner Mamorallo Tjoka’s 03:38:22. Irvette van Zyl took the third place.
Has the excitement of the world’s most beautiful race got you itching to give it a go next year? Check out this training programme for your first half marathon.