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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Mphakathi retains Prince Mangosuthu title in new course record and targets Comrades

Ntsindiso Mphakathi successfully defended his Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi 52km title in a splendid time on Sunday in Dundee, in the north of KwaZulu-Natal. Mphakathi stopped the clock in 2:56:29 to set a new course record, breaking the previous mark of 2:59:15 set by Nkosikhona Mhlakwana in the 2021 edition of the ultra marathon race.

Mphakathi launched an attack at the 48km mark to go passed Winfred Mutiro of the Maxed Elite Running Club, who had led the race from the start. Following Mphakathi home in second position was his Entsika Athletic Club teammate Msawenkosi Mthalane, who recently took fourth position at the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon, while Mutiro ended up settling for third position. The 33-year-old says working together with the other runners in the lead bunch assisted him on his way to retaining the title which included a R100 000 prize purse.

Mphakathi is rewarded for his efforts with a cheque of R100 000, while Mthalane and Mutiro pocket R50 000 and R25 000 respectively. Photo Credit: Prince Mangosuthu Ultra Marathon.

"I'm so happy with the way I ran today. I came with the purpose of defending my title which I did in the end. I think running with the group for of the most the race assisted me to understand the race. Remember, It was important that I try to understand all my competitors so that I know their strength and weaknesses. Then in the end, I launched the attack and won the race," he told #TheTopRunner.

For Mphakathi, his next target is to try and participate in the Comrades Marathon which is scheduled for 11 June. Mphakathi believes that his victory today served as good preparation.

"I'm going to ComradesMarathon this year for sure. Last year, I participated in it as the novice but didn't do well. You can't fault me for not doing well last year since it's a tough and challenging event," he said of his 2022 Comrades which saw him drop out just after halfway at Drummond. "But I think winning this race has given me the confidence that I'm super fit for Comrades. Plus I saw that the prize money has increased so I'm gonna give it a fight."

Kenya's Shelmith Muriuki with the winners cheque after dominating the women's race to win by over five minutes. Photo Credit: Prince Mangosuthu Ultra Marathon.

In the women's race Shelmith Muriuki of Kenya took line honours in 3:22:18 with Jenet Mbhele (3:27:39) and Zinhle Shabalala (3:36:53) taking second and third place respectively.

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