Nedbank running club dominates Two Oceans Half Marathon
April 18, 2022  

For the first time, the iconic Two Oceans Marathon under new title sponsor Totalsports, was held over 2 days on Easter Saturday and Sunday with the half marathon taking place on Saturday and the 56km on Sunday. The Nedbank running club selected a strong team for both, and the athletes did not disappoint starting the weekend of racing with a win!

Known as one of the most competitive half marathons in the country, 6000 runners set off along Main Road in Newlands in swift fashion with the lead bunch ticking over at just under 3:00 per kilometre. Nedbank running club Zimbabwe’s Isaac Mpofu and Moses Tarakinyu spearheaded the pack, with the latter running his first ever race in South Africa. 

15:38 was clocked through the first 5km and it set Tarakinyu to go to the front together with Nedbank RC Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu Bikila who at only 18 years of age, was also leading the junior category. As the athletes made their way to Southern Cross Drive, Tarakinyu split the pack of over 10 runners which saw the group broken down to just 5. 

Mbulelei Mathanga threw in a huge surge just after 16km but was reeled back in by Tarakinyu as the athletes made their way to the finish in UCT. It was every man for himself as they dropped down into the UCT rugby fields and Tarakinyu hit the front and proved to be the best of the day, crossing the line victorious in 01:03:31. Teammate Bikila held on for 5th in 1:03:45 and Mpofu hanging on for 9th in 1:04:01. Two-time winner and still course record holder Namakhoe Nkhasi from Nedbank RC Lesotho rounded off the top 10 with his 1:04:02. 

Such was the competitive nature of the elite field, only 30 seconds separated the first 10 athletes across the line. “I am so happy to win this race because it is the first time that I have run in South Africa,” said an elated Tarakinyu. “The people in South Africa are so friendly and I want to thank my team Nedbank for giving me the opportunity.” 

In the women’s race, Nedbank running club Ethiopia’s Kore Gelaye tracked the leaders but fell off after the tough Southern Cross Drive climb. As the race made its way to the UCT finish grounds, Gelaye started to close the gap but ran out of ground to end 2nd, a scant 25 seconds behind race winner Fortunate Chidzivo. Teamamate Stella Marais who has been having a fantastic season, was 7th in a new pb of 1:17:36. Anel Terblanche from Nedbank running club Western Province 8th with teammate Patience Murowe 9th.