DURBAN, June 10 (ANA) – Bongmusa Mthembu won the 2018 Comrades Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday and so doing, successfully defended the title that he won last year.
KwaZulu Natal athlete Mthembu crossed the finish line in 5 hours 26 minutes 35 secs, to collect his third Comrades title having first won the race back in 2014.
Mthembu will pocket R440 000 for his winning feat.
Ann Ashworth upsets the odds and a star-field to win the Comrades Marathon women’s race, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday.
The Johannesburg-based advocate crossed the finish line in 6 hours 10 minutes 04 seconds to register her first top 10 finish in the event that is dubbed, ‘the Ultra of Ultra’s’ in terms of physical and mental road running endurance.
“It is an awesome feeling to win the Comrades Marathon title,” said Ashworth afterwards. “The race lead was changing quite a bit early on but I am glad that I got the break at the right time and am just so pleased to have won it. It means all the training and effort has paid off.”
Ashworth has also been hard at work as a founder member of Massmart Athletics Club, encouraging women to participate in road running.
“If I can get young girls to take part in this great sport then that is a major achievement for me,” said the excited Comrades champion.
Gerda Steyn was next best in 6:15.34 followed by Russian Alexandra Morozova, who seemed set to mount a strong challenge earlier in the race before Ashworth was able to break away.
2012 Olympian Tanith Maxwell and Charne Bosman who were also among the pre-race favourites for the women’s title, had to settle for fourth and fifth positions respectively.