Malawian athletes in South Africa keep raising the bars in the trade as Stanley Mwakhiwa finished the 87 km Comrades Marathon on position 284 overall out of 19070 others, finishing first among all 14 Malawian colleagues on Sunday.
According to www.comrades.com, this year’s competition was an ‘UP RUN” starting in Durban and finishing at Pietermaritzburg.
Mwakhiwa who runs for Chitern Athletic Club also finished on position 267 in the men's open category out of 15, 288 athletes in 7:10:32 against his last year record of position 651 overall and 620 in the category in 7:32:06.
Fly Glyn Phiri was the first Malawian last year after finishing on position 603 overall and 577 in the men's open covering 90 kim in 7:29:23, but did not run this year.
Doris Fisha was the second finisher for Malawi having finished on position 417 overall, 24 in the Women open category in 7:20:38 minutes on her first run in the competition.
Peter Chiwaya of Oxford Striders another Malawian finished on position 832 overall and 789 in the men's open category in 7:49:36.
Speaking after the race, Mwakhiwa said the advice from other Malawians who are regulars in the competition helped him reach the record.
“It was a tough race, but yes I managed to go through although I had some pain at my last 10 km to finish,” Mwakhiwa said.
Chiwaya said the race was tough because it was up run, but optimistic that he will improve more next year since it will be a downhill run.
“ I am happy I finished within the time which will help me come up with the target next year. I am also happy that I got my back to back medal. When you finish your second run you get two medals. First medal is for being the Comrades finisher and the second one is for completing the Up and Down run consecutively. So, I am happy I have three Comrades medals in two runs,” Chiwaya said.
Other Malawians at the race include Rodrick Phiri who finished on 5013 overall and 4523 in Men open category in 9:50:05, Elijah Kanyenda was on 2927 overall and 2725 in Men open category in 8:59:15 while regular Imran Paya settled for 2453 overall and 2292 in Men 40-49 category.
Mkwepu Mtenje failed to finish the race while Simon Chirwa finished on position 1525 and Felix Lubanda on 1281.