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Mokoka takes Two Oceans Half

Stephen Mokoka

Stephen Mokoka

Despite the gale force South Easterly winds a record of 13 765 runners enjoyed finishing the Old Mutual Two Oceans half-marathon at the University of Cape Town fields.

The 6 and 6.10 starts appears to have favoured the 21,1 km participants as the wind increased in strength when they had already turned after 6 km back towards the Table Mountain range.

The growing international interest reflected in the outstanding win by youthful 23 year old Ethiopian Biru Meseret Mengistu.

Her outstanding winning time of 1 hour 12 minutes 43 seconds reducing the record set on the new course last year by 2 minutes 19 seconds and only 47 seconds behind the record on the old course which excluded the tough Edinburgh Drive climb after 2 km into the race.

Last year’s winner Rene Kalmer improved her record too by 8 seconds with 3 time bridesmaid Irvette van Blerk running a superb 62 seconds faster than last year but dropping to third.

Clearly the wind was not an inhibiting factor but the emergence of another classy Ethiopian raised the level of performance to the top level on a tough course.

The men ran according to form with Stephen Mokoka winning in 1 hour 3 minutes 36 seconds smashing last year’s record by 78 seconds.

A mere 9 seconds covered the first three with twice-winner (2010 & 2011) Lusapho April maintaining his excellent record of consistency finishing 2 nd.

2012 runner-up Joel Mmone took a huge 76 seconds off his time of last year and as with Irvette van Blerk dropped from 2 nd to 3 rd.

These performances would indicate a significant improvement on 2012 which is confirmed in the top 7 men all finishing below last year’s winning time and record on the new course.

report by Peter Wrensch

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