Edward Mothibi has claimed his very first Comrades Marathon win in his second race having made his debut in last year’s Down-Run.
Mothibi spent the last few kms looking over his shoulder fearing that three-time champion Bongmusa Mthembu would make a final push to deny him but it was not to be.
The 2019 champion finished fourth in 2018 after making the switch to running ultra marathons in the last 24 months.
As he entered the stadium the roar of the crowd lifted Mothibi just enough for him to hold off Mthembu, who finished less than a minute behind his fellow South African.
Mothibi may have faded considerably towards the end but he nonetheless finished fully five minutes quicker than Mthembu’s winning time in the 2017 run.
Having endured a difficult Two Oceans Mothibi ran a determined and very importantly, a quick race that allowed him to just pip Comrades Titan Mthembu.
“Yoh I’m very happy about the win, I never thought I was going to win I just gave it my all,” said Mothibi
“I never thought I was going to win it because Bongmusa was still with me at Polly Shorts,
“I put on more strength to push harder after Polly Shorts and pulled away from him.”
Japan’s Nao Kazami was the first international finisher, the World 100km champion, who joked before the race that he hoped to finish sixth to cover the cost of heading back to Japan. Kazami finished in a time of 5:39:16.
Mthembu said after the race that he was happy to be beaten by a fellow South African and he would congratulate Mothibi on a brilliant run.
Gerda Steyn was the leading woman when Mothibi and Mthembu went through the finish, at the time she was taking starin heading up Polly Shorts.