Two Oceans Marathon underway : Saturday 19 April 2014

Two Oceans Marathon underway

Saturday 19 April 2014 06:34

SAPA

An added incentive this year is the R1 million the sponsors have put up for the male and female athlete who might break the existing course record.

An added incentive this year is the R1 million the sponsors have put up for the male and female athlete who might break the existing course record.(SABC)

The 45th edition of Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is currently underway. It has been labelled the world's most beautiful marathon, traversing the Cape Peninsula in all its splendour.

An added incentive this year is the R1 million the sponsors have put up for the male and female athlete who might break the existing course record.

Title holder David Gatebe is confident of grabbing his second successive victory at the 56km Two Oceans.

Gatebe, the former SA marathon champion will lead the local charge against a strong group of foreign athletes targeting a R1 million bonus for the men's record of 3:03:44 set by Thompson Magawana in 1988 and the women's mark of 3:30:36 set by Frith van der Merwe in 1989.

"Everything I've done in training has been focussed on this. I'm going to run my own race, be patient and try to win again," Gatebe said on Friday.

Fellow South African, Hendrick Ramaala confirmed he would be aiming for the record in his first ultra-marathon, but he believed the conditions would play a key role.

"We'll have to see what happens during the race, but the weather will be the deciding factor. It looks like it's going to be warm and it probably won't rain, so I'm not too concerned," Ramaala said.

On the women's side, Mamorallo Tjoka of Lesotho, the only elite female ultra-marathon athlete at the pre-race press conference was confident she could secure her maiden Two Oceans title.

Tjoka has finished in the top four every year since 2010 but has not won the race.

She said: "I think my condition is much better than previous years. I've fixed a lot of problems that I've experienced in previous runs, and if the weather is good, I think I'll have a good performance."

Tjoka will face a strong line-up, which includes defending champion Thabita Tsatsa of Zimbabwe, Shitaye Gemechu Debellu of Ethiopia, and Russian twins Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva who have run under 2:30 in a 42km race.

For an interactive map of the Two Oceans route and related information, click here.

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