2 November 2008, A general view during the Nedbank Soweto Marathon from Soweto,. Gallo images
Shadrack Kemboi broke the Soweto Marathon record on Sunday, crossing the finish line in two hours, 16 minutes, 28 seconds (2:16:28), and Mamorallo Tjoka bagged an unprecedented seventh title in the women's race.
Running only his second career marathon, Kemboi smashed the previous record of 2:17:19 set by Elijah Mutandiro in 2003.
“I'm so happy to break the record,” said the 26-year-old Kenyan.
“I didn't have a plan for this race, I just kept up with Timothy [Kibet, who finsihed fifth] and followed him and maintained the pace.
“Towards the 33km mark I could feel it was time to break away."
Motlokoa Nkhabutlane was the first South African to finish the 42.2km race, ending second overall in 2:17:11.
Two-time winner Mabhutile Lebopo of Lesotho came third in 2:17:14.
Kemboi and Kibet, who won the inaugural Gauteng Marathon in September, led the pack from the halfway mark and opened a three-minute gap on the chasing group.
The two Kenyans were running neck-and-neck until the 33km mark where Kemboi broke away and took the lead, maintaining it until the end.
Meanwhile, Tjoka, of Lesotho, won the women's race for a record seventh time in 2:45:20.
Isabella Jepchumba of Kenya finished second in 2:46:35 and Naomy Chebongi was third in 2:47:00.
Tjoka said she had a battled in the build-up to the race and was delighted with another victory, having taken a tumble shortly after the halfway stage.
“This year was tough for me because I came in with an injury and I didn't think I would make it this time around,” Tjoka said.
“After falling towards the 25km mark I was heartbroken because the ladies caught up with me, but I got up and kept on going and managed to leave them behind again.”