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Lebopo eyes Africa’s richest marathon

Pascalinah Kabi

 MASERU — Lesotho’s long-distance athlete Mabuthile Lebopo has set his eyes on the M1.3 million City to City Ultra Marathon scheduled for next month.

Dubbed the richest marathon in Africa, the 50-kilometre City to City Ultra will be staged on September 27 in Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa.

It was not possible to establish how much Lebopo could walk away with if he wins the race.

The marathon, which is in its 70th year, has proven to be a big magnet for top athletes from the African continent.

It has also seen a sprinkling of international flavour with Russian athletes among sportsmen who have often competed for honours in the race.

Zimbabwean athletes Dombojena Partipher and Samukheliso Moyo won the male and female categories last year.

It could not be immediately established if the duo will participate in the race to defend their titles.

Lebopo told the Sunday Express on Monday that he was training hard to keep himself in shape ahead of the lucrative race.

“We are still in the middle of an intensive preparation for this race and my aim is to win it,” he said.

Lebopo said he was running about 300 km a week as part of his preparations.

He says he runs to and from Abia in Maseru to Matsieng, a distance of about 76 km.

As part of his intensive preparations the 34-year-old Lebopo said he also runs to and from Abia to Thaba-Bosiu, some 17.8 km away.

He however said he was still to register for the race due to delays in receiving pamphlets for the marathon from the organisers.

“We are still waiting for the pamphlets which show every detail of the race,” Lebopo said.

“If we fail to make it in the City to City marathon we will eye the Soweto Marathon in October.”

Lebopo has dominated South African marathons over the past few years. Two months ago he won the Two Oceans Marathon which was held in Cape Town, South Africa.

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