Sithembiso Mqhele beat icy conditions and stiff competition from seasoned runners to snatch the 34th PPC Bergmarathon in Riebeek Kasteel last Saturday.
The Gugulethu Athletic Club novice surprised even himself as he cleared the 42km race in 2hr40min.
He was closely followed by team mate Simphiwe Vellem who came in three minutes later. Running in only his second marathon, Mqhele said he was pleased with the result despite failing to dent Lindikhaya Mthangayi’s last year record of 2hr34min.
“I am not bothered by that because this is my second marathon and I have learnt from what happened here,” he said.
Gugs coach, Marshall Moilla, was full of praises for Mqhele.
“This boy has hallmarks of a champion. We are still grooming him and I see him going very far in athletics,” said Moilla.
Mqhele is focusing on the PetroSA Marathon taking place on Saturday August 24 in Mosselbay. But Moilla insists there is no pressure on Mqhele as he is going there to “learn and enjoy the race”.