Two elite athletes from the Nedbank Running Club are hoping to make South Africa proud when they line up at this weekend’s SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon.
Tebogo Mathiba and Mthandazo Qhina, both athletes from the Nedbank Running Club’s Green Dream Team, have definitely got the pedigrees to compete against the best at Sunday’s marathon.
Qhina is a regular top ten finisher at the Two Oceans Marathon, finishing in 2nd place in 2013. He has a marathon best of 2:17. Mathiba on the other hand might not have marathon experience on his side as the Dublin Marathon will be his debut marathon, but he sure has speed on his side. With a half marathon best of 1:02 and a 10km best of 29:38, Mathiba will definitely not be left behind. He is coached by Pio Mpolokeng, former Dublin Marathon winner and currently development coach for the Nedbank Running Club. Mpolokeng has had great success with his athletes in recent months.
“I am very excited. This will be my first international race and I feel fit and strong. My training has been going well and I am in good shape,” says Mathiba. He has been considering moving up to the marathon distance for a while now, but first wanted to work on his speed in the shorter distances. He feels the Dublin marathon is the perfect race as a debut marathon.
The South African athletes will be lining up against the likes of Asefa Bekele from Ethiopia who is back for the third time having finished in 3rd place last year and second place in 2015 in times of 2:15:01 and 2:14:21 respectively. Another competitor to look out for is Bernard Rotich from Kenya who won the Belfast City Marathon in May this year in a time of 2:16:04.
The Dublin Marathon had a record 19 500 runners from 60 countries in 2016 and has become Europe’s 4th largest marathon. Known for its relatively flat course, it is a very attractive course for runners ranging from novices to elites.
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