'We want to thank all the runners' - Inkamana AC celebrate success of inaugural Modderfontein 21km
Aside from top runners such as Lucky Mohale who out-sprinted Winfred Mutiro to win the half marathon in 1:08:10, Inkamana Athletic Club say their inaugural 21km race was a success because of all the social and recreational runners that took part. On Sunday morning over 1500 runners and walkers took to the streets of Edenvale to test themselves against a hilly course during the very first Inkamana Athletic Club Modderfontein Half Marathon. The club's chairperson Thami KaQoma says they were humbled by the turnout especially after their first attempt at staging a race wasn't as successful as they had hoped.
"That baby was born at the inception of the club," said KaQoma when asked about why they decided to organise the event. "But we soon realised that it was a tough call, but we wanted this. We then hosted a 10km race in 2022, it wasn't a huge success, but it planted the seed that we could host something big. Then Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) gave us a chance to host a half marathon in 2023, and we grabbed the opportunity."
That over a thousand people braved the the cold and wet conditions to try a new race is a shot of confidence in the organizing abilities of a club that is barely five years old. KaQoma says while they had always tried to attract serious runners to the event, they are particularly proud of those who took part in the race as they begin their journey towards a more balanced lifestyle.
"The club was founded on the 10th of August 2018, to firstly unite the alumni of Inkamana High School through a healthy lifestyle. Secondly we wanted to contribute to the sport's development by turning couch potatoes into active citizens. We wanted to recruit as many people as possible, mainly non-athletes and convert them into active people," he shared.
With the mission of providing exercise opportunities to new runners was accomplished through the 10km and 5km race, the half marathon was targeted at regular runners many of whom are preparing to run the 90km long Comrades Marathon.
"The main reason for the half marathon and the timing of it, is to assist Comrades Marathon runners with a course a bit similar to the one they will be running on the 11th of June. Just to test those muscles! We had 1608 athletes who registered for our inaugural half marathon. This is a humbling experience. And we want to thank all the runners who participated in this year's race."