Date set for top marathon
THE 2015 High Altitude Summer Marathon takes place on 5 December in Mokhotlong and is expected to attract more athletes this year, one of the organisers has said.
Over 115 000 local and foreign runners registered for the race last year, and Moqhali is hoping for a bigger field this time around.
Moqhali further said the event’s main sponsors — Letšeng Diamonds and the Ministry of Gender, Sport, Youth and Recreation — remain on board despite the doping scandal which rocked the race last year.
‘Mamoroallo Tjoka, who won the female category of the main 42kilometre race, was suspended for two years after testing positive for banned, performance-enhancing drugs. Ramolefi Motsieloa, who came sec- ond in the male category of the main race, was also found to have used illegal drugs during the same race and slapped with a two-year suspension.
Moqhali said: “This year’s race will take place on 5 December and we believe it is going to be as successful as last year’s edition.
“Registration has been open since April, but surprisingly, less than 30 athletes have registered so far.”
However, Moqhali does not believe last year’s scandal is going to negatively impact on the event.
“I don’t want to believe the athletes’ suspension will have any negative impact on the race.
“Since registration is open until 4 December and we are only in October, I believe the number of participants will increase with time.”
Regarding the spoils, Moqhali says there is no change in the prize monies, with winners of the 42km race in both the male and female category set to pocket M100 000 each.
All in all, the competition is bankrolled to the tune of M1.5 million.
Lebenya Nkoka won the male’s edition of the race in 2014.
The High Altitude Summer Marathon was introduced as the Mokhotlong City Marathon in 2003. The race initially covered 32.2 km before its extension by 10km. In addition, the event also includes 21.1 km and 10 km races.