Sunday 17 October 2021 turned out to be a little wet out for the Cape Town Marathon runners. With no wind, however, the course was still a fast one with the men producing great times and in the woman’s field, Lydia Simiyu won in a new course record time.
It was really great seeing all the runners out on the roads this past weekend and we can only hope that this is the beginning of many special races over the coming months.
South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka made it two wins from two starts at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 2021, making short work of a stellar international field that had eight sub 2:10 men in the field. In the women’s race, marathon debutant, Lydia Simiyu stunned a quality field to win in a new course record.
With no pacemakers in the field, the men’s race became a tactical affair, with Mokoka making the decisive break just before 40km. In what started out as ideal conditions, the men’s pace early on was driven by Philemon Mathipa and Sbonisi Sikhakhane. A big pack of around 20 athletes went through the halfway mark in 65:50, with all the bigger South African names, such Philani Buthelezi, Mathipa, Sibusiso Nzima, David Manja and Melikhaya Frans very prominent in the front.
In the women’s race, unheralded 25-year-old, Lydia Simiyu made history after smashing the course record and running the fastest ever women’s marathon time in South Africa, on debut.
Simiyu came into the race as a novice and a dark horse as very little was known of her. Prior to today’s race, she had only ever run in two road races, both Half Marathons, and boasted a best of 1:10.17 for distance.
But Simiyu ran the race like a veteran, letting Gerda Steyn do all the work, and pouncing in the later stages of the race. Her opposition should have been wary of her though, as she trains with Purity Changwony and Ruth Chebitok in Kapsabat. Her training partners have marathon times of 2:22 and 2:23 behind their names respectively. Simiyu crossed the finish line outside the Cape Town Athletics Stadium in 2:25.44, some 11 seconds ahead of Karim (2:25.55) with Teferi rounding off the podium (2:26.12).
For Simiyu this was the richest payday of her fledgling career: she earned R200 000 ($13 785) for the win, and also pocketed an additional R100 000 ($ 6892) for breaking the existing course record of 2:26.44 set by Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir in 2019.
Top 10 Men
1. Stephen Mokoka (South Africa; Boxer) – 02:10.01
2. Gebru Redahgne (Ethiopia) – 02:10.17
3. Tebello Ramakongoana (Lesotho) – 02:10.24
4. Ameta Belachew (Ethiopia; Volare) – 02:10.40
5. Alex Saekwo (Kenya; Greyhound Pro Sports Management) – 02:10.59
6. Melikhaya Frans (South Africa; Ikhamva AC) – 02:11.28
7. Isaac Mpofu (Zimbabwe; Nedbank) – 02:11.41
8. Sboniso Sikhakhane (South Africa; Phantane AC) – 02:11.49
9. Wubshet Jote (Ethiopia; Newton Sports Agency) – 02:12.30
10. Ngondizashe Ncube (Zimbabwe; Nedbank) – 02:12.49
Top 10 Women
1. Lydia Simiyu (Kenya) – 02:25.44
2. Lucy Karimi (Kenya) – 02:25.56
3. Aynalem Teferi (Ethiopia) – 02:26.12
4. Gerda Steyn (South Africa; Nedbank) – 02:26.25
5. Beje Bekelu Geleta (Ethiopia; Newton Sports Agency) – 02:29.13
6. Esther Macharia (Kenya; Greyhound Pro Sports Management) – 02:29.17
7. Alina Armas (Namibia; Retail Capital Langa) – 02:35.07
8. Sinke Biyadgilgn (South Africa) – 02:37.57
9. Pulane Matsepe (South Africa; 295 Running Club) – 02:40.46
10. Nontokozo Mkhize (South Africa; Hollywoodbets Athletics Club) – 02:41.21
This years marathon was seamlessly and safely executed during lockdown level one. Thank you so much to the Cape Town Marathon organisers for giving us one of the first mass participation running events since the start of Covid-19.
We cannot wait to head out to Cape Town next year for the inaugural Abbott World Marathon Majors candidate event.
If you want to join team Africa Marathon for Cape Town Marathon 2022 please send us an email at [email protected]. You can also contact us on the button below to enter. We look forward to welcoming you to the Africa Marathons family.