Lebenya Nkoka (pictured) yesterday won his first-ever Two Oceans Marathon title and the M250 000 winners’ prize.
Nkoka, however, came within seven minutes of also claiming the R1 million, which would have come with breaking the three hours, three
minutes and 44 seconds course record for the 56-kilometre race set by South African Thompson Magawana in 1988.
The 32-year-old Nkoka still managed to walk away with R250 000, while South Africa’s Hendrick Ramaala and Lesotho’s Masilo Matjeeane came second and third to
respectively pocket R125 000 and R65 000.
Another Lesotho runner, Warenyane Lebopo, did the country proud by claiming fourth place in the race, In the post-race interview, Nkoka said he was happy to have won his
first Two Oceans Marathon, dubbed the “most beautiful race”, as it takes place in scenic Cape Town.
“I am very happy to have won because I did not get enough time to practice for this marathon,” Nkoka said.
“I believe I could have done better with adequate preparations.
“However, I did not train to break the record so it was not easy to chase that time but I think if there was enough competition or challenge, I could have
at least pushed for it.
“The first 10 kilometres were tough but then things got better thereafter,” said the jubilant Nkoka.
Meanwhile, Lesotho’s marathon queen, Mamoroallo Tjoka, came fourth in the female category of the race, which was won by Nina Podnebesnova of Russia.