Motlokoa Nkhabutlane and Caroline Wostmann were the respective winners in men’s and women’s ultra-distance races at the the 2015 Two Oceans Marathon.
The two champions picked up comfortable victories after fine performances in South Africa, as they dug in for 56 kilometres around the self-proclaimed world's most beautiful marathon circuit.
In the half-marathon races, Stephen Mokoka and Lebogang Phalula sampled victory in the men’s and women’s events respectively. Mokoka has now won the race three times in a row, while Phalula seized the title off her twin sister, who won this event 12 months ago.
Here are the top three performers in each discipline and their accompanying times:
|Two Oceans Marathon 2015: Results|
|Ultra-Distance||Men (Time)||Women (Time)|
|1.||Motlokoa Nkhabutlane (3:10:27)||Caroline Wostmann (3:41:23)|
|2.||Collen Makaza (3:12:41)||Nina Podnebesnova (3:44:04)|
|3.||Moeketsi Mosuhli (3:13:44)||Tanith Maxwel (3:45:18)|
|Half-Distance||Men (Time)||Women (Time)|
|1.||Stephen Mokoka (1:04:00)||Lebogang Phalula (1:14:48)|
|2.||Elroy Gelant (1:04:04)||Mapaseka Makhanya (1:15:08)|
|3.||Joel Mmone (1:04:05)||Diana-Lebo Lebogang (1:15:31)|
For full results, check out the event’s official website
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Nkhabutlane was arguably the most impressive performer of the day, as he surged away from the pack with superb conviction in the final stages of the ultra-distance race to win in a time of 3:10:27.
As noted by Wesley Botton of The Citizen, even after crossing the finish line at the end of such an enduring course, the Lesotho star looked extremely composed:
Collen Makaza of Zimbabwe took second place in the race and trailing him was Moeketsi Mosuhli in third. But much of the focus was on Nkhabutlane after his stunning surge with the kilometres ticking down left little doubt as to who was going to win this one.
As noted by the event’s official Twitter account, he was travelling remarkably quick as the end of the race edged ever closer:
It was also an historic day for Wostmann, as she became the first South African woman to win this race in 14 years.
She was in complete control throughout this one, settling in during the early stages before gradually building up a lead in the second half of the race; even as she embraced the atmosphere on the home stretch, Wostmann was still an emphatic winner.
As we can see, the home-crowd favourite was a popular champion with the spectators:
Trailing her were Nina Podnebesnova and Tanith Maxwell, finishing up in second and third position respectively.
Meanwhile, in the prestigious half-marathon race it was Mokoka who continued to assert his dominance over the 21-kilometre distance. Victory here was his fourth overall in the Two Oceans event and the third time in a row he’s reigned supreme in the half.
The South African star broke away in the last mile to build up a lead narrow lead from Elroy Gelant and Joel Mmone—second and third respectively—eventually taking victory in an impressive time of 1:04:00.
Here’s the moment he crossed the line, after which he was congratulated for his efforts by distance-running legend Haile Gebrselassie, per Runner’s World SA:
Mokoka was made to work hard for this one, but after triumphing here on a trio of occasions previously, there was an eminent sense throughout the race that he would eventually scythe through the field and into a commanding spot. With around 1,500 metres remaining, the South African did exactly that.
While he looked serene and strong in the latter stages, Mokoka admitted in the aftermath that at one point it was a case of closing his eyes and hoping for the best:
In the women’s half it was Phalula who took victory with another impressive time of 1:14:48. She looked comfortable throughout on the Two Oceans course, sashaying the front in the latter stages and with no other competitor seemingly capable of challenging her, she waltzed to victory by a sizeable 20-second margin.
Mapaseka Makhanya was best of the rest, finishing in second place, while Lebogang’s twin sister Diana-Lebo was in third, making it an excellent day all round for their family.