Nedbank running club boasts star team for Two Oceans Marathon
April 10, 2024  
This coming weekend see’s the annual Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon return to the streets of Cape Town and some of the who’s who of ultra-distance running will be out in action on Saturday as well as some of the country’s finest half marathoners with the 21,1km taking place on Sunday. The Nedbank running club has once again assembled a strong team together and will be looking at podium placings come the weekend.

National team manager of the Nedbank running club, Nick Bester, has been strategic when choosing the teams to compete as some of his big-name ultra-distance stars who could well win Two Oceans, are sitting this one out with all eyes for some on the Comrades Marathon. “We sit at the beginning of the year with the athletes and coaches and come up with a plan as to who will run what because if you fail to plan, you will never succeed and at the Nedbank running club we have a very professional approach to what we do,” said Bester.

“Our guys like Tete Dijana and Edward Mothibi could well win a race like Two Oceans, but Comrades is their main focus for the year so we rather they stay in the training camp, and we bring some of our other big stars to Two Oceans.”

Leading this charge for the Nedbank running club could well be Onalenna Khonkhobe. In 2022 the youngster who hails from Klerksdorp and is coached by Nedbank running club development coach Pio Mpolokeng found himself in the lead with 5km to go of the Two Oceans but inexperience and a nasty run in with a water table saw him give the lead up but still finish a well-deserved 6th place.

“Khonkhobe is is very fit this year and according to the training that has been done, I believe he has every chance to win the race,” said Mpolokeng.

Together with Khonkhobe, teammates and training partners Joel Mmone and David Manja will be making their ultra-marathon debuts at the Two Oceans Marathon and may prove a major upset to the more seasoned ultra-distance runners. Manja boasts 6 Two Oceans Half Marathon gold medals including a win whilst Mmone has 8 Two Oceans Half Marathon golds of which 4 of those were all on the podium. Joining them will be South Africa’s Lloyd Bosman who came agonizingly close to a gold medal last year when he finished 12th on his debut.

The Nedbank running club Ethiopia duo of Degefa Lafebo and Daba Debele will prove a serious challenge up front. Both have previously run in South Africa before with Debele taking victory in the very tough Soweto Marathon in 2022. Lafebo ran his ultra-marathon debut at last years Two Oceans Marathon and finished a credible 6th place. Joining them in the colours of Nedbank running club Kenya will be their East African counterparts Ezra Kiptoo Keter and Dennis Kipkosegei.

In the women’s race, Nedbank running clubs Adele Broodryk will be looking at giving Two Oceans a hard effort as she prepares for the Comrades Marathon where she finished 2nd last year. American Andrea Pomaranski makes her first trip to South Africa and will be donning the famous green Nedbank Nike running vest. With a 2:31:06 marathon best set in Houston last year, the 41-year-old finished 2nd at last year’s World 50km championships and will be making the trek to Cape Town with an eye on the podium and also preparation for June’s Comrades Marathon.

Whilst no Ethiopian lady has managed to pull off a win at the Two Oceans, but some have podiumed, Tirualem Bekele Worke will arrive in South Africa with an eye on the podium and maybe even the top spot. With a marathon pb of 2:34:46, Worke will be someone to look out for on the day.

Whilst all eyes will be on the 56km which will be broadcast live on Saturday on SuperSport, the half marathon on Sunday has attracted some of the best speedsters from around Africa. Nedbank running club’s Thabang Mosiako leads the charge on Sunday as the fastest man in the field, thanks to his sub 1 hour clocking at last years World Half Marathon championships where he finished 6th. The reigning South African half marathon champion will be joined by his Nedbank running club teammate Namakoe Nkhasi who is also a former Two Oceans Half Marathon winner. Making his half marathon debut will be youngster George Kusche who boasts impressive times of 7:50 over 3000m as well as 28:55 over the 10km this past weekend.

In the ladies’ race, although she won’t be looking at an overall win, but 70 year old Margie Saunders has been setting world best age group times literally each time she laces up her running shoes and all eyes will be on Saunders on Sunday to see whether she can yet again rewrite the record books.