Irvette van Zyl smashes Old Mutual Soweto Marathon record
Middle distance runner Irvette van Zyl smashed the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon record on Sunday to cap an eventful year.
The 31-year-old’s record of 2:33.43 for the 42km race came five months after giving birth to her second son.
Lesotho’ Mamorallo Tjoka finished second (2:37.12) and Ethiopian Selam Abere Alebachew came in third (2:44.50).
“After having a baby five months ago‚ I did not think I would be able to run a record time, but once I reached the last 2km I realised it was possible‚” Van Zyl said.
Van Zyl smashed the previous record of 2:36.02 set by Tjoka in 2011.
On the men’s side‚ Ethiopia’s Sintayehu Legese reclaimed his title. Both Legese and Van Zyl will pocket a R250,000 cash prize for their efforts.
Legese crossed the finishing line in 2:19.10. and foreign athletes continued their dominance in the men’s race as Lesotho’s national Lebenya Nkoka finished second in 2:20.31, while Dafa Ifa Debele from Ethiopia completed the podium in 2:21.13.
“Last year I was disappointed that I could not win the title but I just told myself that I would come back stronger this time,” Legese said.
The event saw President Cyril Ramaphosa and other government leaders taking part in the 10km race.