Durban International Marathon a huge success - Mdu Khumalo
The inaugural Durban International Marathon held in Durban over the weekend has been hailed as a major success - that's according to race organiser Mdu Khumalo. The race which was hosted by Phantane Athletics Club, was also designated as the official KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) marathon championships which means that all the athletes who excelled in the race will be selected to represent the Coastal federation at the SA Marathon Championships in Cape Town next month. Despite having had only a month of preparation, Khumalo was pleased to see that the event went smoothly and drew some good athletes including a few from outside the province.
"If I would say the race didn't go well then I would lying to myself. Everything ticked the right boxes on race day," explained an elated Khumalo. "The race started on time which is one of the most challenging things that organizers face. Our tables were structured in a good way as no athlete complained about the shortage of water or coke along the route. Remember, we had only a month to gather up everything so to see what we achieved is a huge plus going forward."
Khumalo is optimistic that the race will be much bigger next year with a high quality field including one or two international athletes. "The aim is to serve our name properly. The race is called the " International" marathon so we must have elite runners from across the world. The work has started already to get more sponsors on board to have good prize money," said the man who coaches KZNA 10 000m record holder Mbuleli Mathanga.
KZNA President Steve Mkasi echoed Khumalo's words saying the race is piosed to be amongst the best in the country and they aim to assist organizers to obtain Bronze Label status shortly.
"We need these kind of races where they can draw a quality field from across South Africa," said Mkasi. "Not every athlete gets to run on a flat course like this since most of the races here in the province are run on tough routes. We aim to see this race obtaining a bronze label status soon then grow till platinum status. It's about time Durban has a recognized race across the country and the entire world," he concluded.