Kasiteni, Fisher now set for Nov 3 Old Mutual Marathon

Kefasi Kasiteni and Doris Fisher, who both came second in their respective categories of Sunday’s Blantyre City Marathon, are now set to participate at the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon on November 3 in South Africa on an all-expenses-paid trip, courtesy of Old Mutual.

The whole set up of the event
Stanley Mwakhiwa came 16th
Kasiteni crossing the finish line on Sunday
The women’s champion Nalicy Chirwa

The two qualified to represent Malawi after winning the September 7th Run 4 Reforestation half marathon on September 7 along the trails of Zomba Plateau.

And whilst there they will be joined by South Africa-based athletes,

Stanley Mwakhiwa, Nalicy Chirwa and Grevaxio Mpani.

Mwakhiwa and Nalicy came to participate in the Blantyre City Marathon in which Nalicy took the gold medal after finishing in a time of 3:05:55 beating last year’s champion Theresa Master, who came third.

Mwakhiwa came 16th in a time of 3:03:37. The two were accompanied by Nalicy’s manager Khuzwayo, who came to appreciate the organization of the Blantyre Marathon.

Kasiteni said he will run the Soweto half marathon of which he is much comfortable with.

He said he was happy with his performance in the Blantyre Marathon, being his first.

“I ran the Blantyre Marathon as my training for the half marathon in Soweto because I want to pick up a medal there.

“And having had to run the Blantyre Marathon, I felt the half marathon is ideal,” he said.

Mwakhiwa also said he came to Blantyre also as preparations for the Soweto Marathon.

“Though it will be too soon to run in Soweto — because I should rest for at least a month before running another race — but I can’t wait to participate the Soweto

“The Blantyre Marathon was a good stage for the Soweto preparation.”

Mwakhiwa is going to participate as a reward from his Durban-based Chiltern Athletic Club for his good performance during the Comrades Marathon in June.

In an interview after the Blantyre Marathon, Nalicy said she came all the way not necessarily to be on the podium but to prepare for the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon but taking the coveted for K1 million-worth gold medal was a huge bonus for her.

“I am so proud that I have made it as the champion. I was training hard for the Soweto Marathon and I decided to come over to practise for it,” said the champion, who is from Nkhata Bay district.

“My target now is to reduce my time to below 3 hours in order to achieve  my aspirations,” she had said.

Organised by Zomba Forest Lodge, the Run 4 Reforestation half marathon’s prizes for the inaugural event last year were cash awards and it was decided this year by one of the main sponsors, Old Mutual to add the Soweto Marathon on top of cash incentives to be given out.

The Run 4 Reforestation is a fundraiser Zomba Forest Lodge public awareness campaign against wanton cutting of trees on the beautiful plateau.

The races were in three categories — 21km, 10km and 5km and attracts participation by locals and international residents and tourists.

Kasiteni finished in a time of 1:20:37 while his runner-up was Blantyre City Marathon champion, Mphatso Nadolo, who had finished I n 1:21:50 while Boniface Pangani was third in 1:23:45.

Fisher, this year’s Mulanje Porters Race winner and also this and last year’s Blantyre City Marathon runner-up, arrived in 1:40:10, her runner-up was Zinenani Stefano in 1:55:20 while Violet Joza was third in 2:01:13.

The 26th edition of the Soweto Marathon attracts an impressive 40,000 runners and also has a half marathon (21.1km) and a 10km category.

The route, that starts and ends at FNB Stadium Avenue, honours Soweto’s rich history and runners pass eight significant heritage sites on the marathon route, such as the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Walter Sisulu Square, the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Credo Mutwa Cultural Village, Morris Isaacson High School and the June 16 Memorial Acre, Vilakazi Street and the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

There is quite a good number of Malawians who are slowly stamping their authority in South Africa’s athletics market that include Peter Chiwaya from Thyolo, Rodrick Dida Phiri from Nkhata Bay, Gloria Chitedze from Mchinji and Imran Paya from Mbulumbudzi in Chiradzulu.

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