PALAPYE: Shepherd Kenatshele and Mantshapelo Badumetse both of the Diacore Gaborone Marathon Programme ran to victory in the elite 21.1 km in males and females, respectively of the Palapye Half Marathon on Saturday.
Kenatshele and Badumetse, who were the debuts in the Palapye marathon, showed a clean pair of heels to former winners Godiraone Ntlhophe and Mema Tiango, who both finished in second positions, respectively.
Kenatshele claimed victory with 1:06:15, while Badumetse ran a time of 1:24:09. The duo walked out with medals and P4,000 each. First runners-up got P1,500 and third place walked out with P1,000.
Kenatshele said he started preparations for the marathon last year after missing out on the inaugural edition. He said he set his eyes on beating the 1:08:00 that saw Ntlhophe win last year.
He was impressed with the organisation of the marathon and the route that goes through the village. He said the support from the community of Palapye was also courageous. “This is one of the best routes, to have the people backing you all the way is very encouraging and it helps to increase the focus. I have enjoyed the marathon today and I wish to be here again next year to defend my title,” he said.
Badumetse was equally impressed with the setup. She commended the marshals for a job well done. For a 42 km runner, she said she was not expecting to win. She was overwhelmed to clinch her first 21.1 km title and setting a new personal best in the half marathon.
“I am filled with emotions, I am not a speedy runner, but I have beaten my 1:28:00 half marathon time and I am overwhelmed. I come from Lecheng and nothing makes it better than to do it here at home,” the emotive Badumetse said.
Other winners include Sylvester Koko and Kefilwe Galeitsewe in the 10 km race males and females respectively. They walked away P2,000 richer, while the second place got P1,500 and third P1,000.
Eight-year-old Sadi Senatla won the 4km fun run and Izak Nel won the males 10 km walk race, while Grace Olefile was crowned the women’s 10km walk race.
Botswana Police Service clinched the companies’ best award followed by the Botswana Power Corporation and Botswana Open University. The marathon, on its second edition, had attracted over 600 participants compared to 200 who competed in the inaugural edition. Race coordinator, Moagi Rahube said they are encouraged by the record growth.
He said through the half marathon they are encouraging fitness, promoting Palapye as a developing village and assisting charity. He said 15% of the proceeds of the marathon have been committed to House of Hope, a charitable foundation in Palapye. “We have not yet secured a main sponsor, but we are impressed with the tremendous turnout and we anticipate an even larger turnout in the next edition,” he said.