All roads lead to Mokhotlong
MORE than 500 athletes will battle it out for the M100 000 first prizes in the male and female 42.2km races in this weekend’s High Altitude Summer Marathon in Mokhotlong.
The race is jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation; Letšeng Mining and Alliance Insurance.
The Sports Ministry’s representative, Thabo Tsiki said they expected at least 200 international runners to compete in the country’s biggest race, adding, “Athletes will compete in the main race which is the 42.2km race as well as the 21km race”.
He said there would be a 5km race strictly for runners aged below 17.
“We have organised a number of buses that will carry athletes from Maseru to Mokhotlong from today and it is all systems go for the biggest race in the country and the fact that we have already registered over 500 runners shows the race is growing every year,” Tsiki said.
“The country’s top runners are among the contenders in the main race but we also have international runners who have their eyes on the big prize.
“Some international runners have been registered for some months now as we had a representation at the Two Oceans marathon expo in Cape Town (in March this year) while others registered online.
“We have the likes of Mabuthile Lebopo, Tsotang Maine and Motlokoa Nkhabutlane,” he said.
Tsiki appealed to athletes to “be careful of the supplements and everything they take before taking part in the race as it can get them in trouble” as was the case in the 2014 edition which was overshadowed by the scandal of marathon queen, Mamoroallo Tjoka, who tested positive after winning the women’s race.
He said there would be random dope tests where anyone could be picked regardless of whether they had won or lost.
South African Pule Hlabahla and Lesotho’s Moleboheng Mafata were the winners in the 2015 edition.
Motlokoa Nkhabutlane Mamoroallo tjoka tsotang Maine Mabuthile lebopo