Bongumusa Mthembu wins Comrades Marathon
Durbanite Bongumusa Mthembu has won the 2014 Comrades Marathon.
DURBAN - South African runner Bongumusa Mthembu has won the 2014 Comrades Marathon while Briton Eleanor Greenwood has taken the ladies title a short while ago.
Mthembu crossed the finish line shortly before 11am, completing the gruelling 89 kilometre race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in a time of 05: 28:34 seconds.
He was followed by 2012 Comrades winner Ludwick Mambolo.
Mthembu came third in the Comrades 2010 and second in 2012 and bettered his previous time of five hours and 32 minutes.
The gold medallist will be followed by thousands of other runners who are still making their way across the course.
Around 18,000 runners are taking part in the world-famous race.
There was relief and elation as the first runners crossed the finish line.
But the marathon was too much for some.
Donovan Marapedi was forced to pull out of the race earlier.
"The only problem that I experienced on the road was that I didn't have my refreshments and I'm very much disappointed that they were not organised for me. As a result, after 21 kilometres I felt a bit dizzy."
Hundreds of people have lined the course to cheer the participants on.
Capetonian Dean Moldenhauer is one of them.
"I remember last year doing it. Half way you can't turn back what you've started, so if you've started off too fast, you're going to pay the price. You can see some of the guys that really went out hard at the beginning; they are starting to feel the punch right now."
KwaZulu-Natal Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Sports and Recreation Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha has congratulated the 2014 Comrades Marathon winner.
Sibhidla-Saphetha says Mthembu's great achievement will inspire many developing athletes in the country to excel in sport.
"This will certainly send a strong message to many young athletes that nothing is impossible if you are committed and hard working."