Nedbank Running club athlete Ntsindiso Mphakathi is tired of being dubbed as the first South African home in the Soweto Marathon. This year he wants to be first across the line as the overall winner and is confident of this happening, come Sunday.
Rewind 12 months ago and Mphakathi found himself in the lead of the 2017 Soweto Marathon passing through the 40km mark of the race with just 2km to go. The problem he had though was that he was not alone. Team mate Sintayehu Legese Yinesu, a 3 times Soweto Marathon winner and Lesotho’s Tshepo Mathibelle were breathing down his neck. Mphakhati lost out to both athletes however recorded his best Soweto finish as he crossed the line 3rd in 2:21:23.
I am ready for this year’s race and the training has gone well,” said Mphakhati yesterday who is coached by fellow Nedbank running club member and former Comrades winner Claude Moshiywa. “I run not only for myself but for my family back home in the Eastern Cape and I use all the money from races to provide for them so that gives me the motivation to also keep pushing.”
Mphakathi will face a very strong field on Sunday in what has been dubbed as the most competitive Soweto Marathon to date. Nedbank running club Ethiopia’s Yinesu is looking for a never been done before 4th Soweto Marathon title in the men’s race after finishing 2nd last year. In August the tiny Ethiopian destroyed a quality field in the tough Mandela Marathon and cited that the race was all part of his preparations for Soweto.
Nedbank running club Lesotho also have a host of contenders which will be led by former Soweto winner Lebenya Nkoka who this year has been focussing on his speed and ran a 63mins this year. With that speed and knowledge of the Soweto course he will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. His fellow Countrymen Namakoe Nkhasi makes his eagerly awaited debut in the marathon and boasting a 28:28 10km on the roads, will be interesting to see what he can equate that to on Sunday. 2018 Two Oceans Marathon winner Justin Cheshire from Nedbank running club Kenya returns to the Country and according to his manger is in very good shape. Throw in the likes of South African’s Edward Mothibi, Lungile Gonqa and Sibususio Nzima and you can be guaranteed that come Sunday, the Nedbank Dream Green team will be spearheading the front of the marathon. You can catch all the live action on Sunday morning from 05:30 on Sabc 2.