Ndabile Bashingile is the winner of the inaugural Lobatse Marathon.
Bashingile beat a field comprising of some of the most recognised local track stars, among them veteran runner, Kabo Gabaseme, to clinch the tightly contested 10 kilometres race in 26 minutes.
The Sportsview Athletics club star had to dig hard to beat BDF Athletic’s club’s Unaswi Dambe and Rapula Diphoko of Lefika Athletics Club who came in second and third, clocking 26 min 2 seconds and 26 min 10 seconds, respectively.
The men’s race was a very tightly contested event with Bashingile just pipping his closest rival by a mere two seconds. It was a different matter, however, in the women’s category as Onkemetse Solotate completely dominated the race.
The diminutive Gaborone Athletics Club (GRC) marathon star clocked an impressive 31 minutes 50 seconds to clinch the 10 kilometres race. Solotate beat fellow GRC teammate Joyce Tau as well as Molepolole Athletics’ Club’s Dimpho Thebeyame who came second and third respectively, clocking 33 min 40 sec and 34 min 27 sec to complete the race.
Both the winners of the men and women’s 10 km marathon walked away with P3000 cash prices, while their runners up and second runners up got P2000 and P1000 correspondingly.
In other results, Osego Petiso won the boys 2, 5 km fun run, earning himself P700 cash in the process.
The youngster ran the designated distance in 7 min 02 sec, beating Mosweu Gaolebale and Mooketsi Ponatshego in second and third position respectively.
The girls’ category was won by Thulaganyo Motamorago, followed by Dolly Galeitsiwe and Kelebogile Rabasimane. In the Corporate Team events, Engen Lobatse runners produced a brilliant performance as they won the event. The team had to fight hard to beat determined Flo-Tek runners who, despite coming second, had more runners than their competitors coming in the top five positions.
Engen Lobatse, however, had the last laugh as many of their athletes finished in respectable times, thus immensely contributing to the overall team results.
Engen Lobatse team and Flo-Tek won P3000 and P2000, respectively while third positioned Botswana Railways walked away with P1000 for their efforts.
The Corporate teams’ cash prices were to be donated to the teams’ charities of choice within Lobatse. The marathon, which was organised for charitable purposes as well as to raise awareness of Lobatse to potential investors, was sponsored by Masterprint. The company says it will be sponsoring the race again in the next year, adding that it wishes for the event to be an annual event. For his part, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA)’s spokesperson, Glody Dube, praised the marathon’s local organisers for a job well done.
Dube said while there was a thing or two that was not properly done, the organisers had done all that needed to be done to make the marathon a success. He promised that the BAA will look to partnering and helping the organisers in their next event to make the marathon meet international standards.