Njeya and Nyedimane tipped to win at #MusicMarathon

Pauline Njeya during the Interstate Buslines Half Marathon in which she had to settle for second PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Pauline Njeya is tipped as the favourite to win Saturday’s Music Marathon, presented by Chatz, Vodacom and OFM, the sound of your life.

The former Two Oceans Marathon top-10 finisher and Free State Marathon record holder is the without a doubt the athlete to beat. One of her fiercest competitors and good friend, Annah Moeketsi, won’t be doing the 42.2km, but the half instead.

Earlier this year she claimed a second consecutive top-10 finish during the OR Tambo Free State Marathon in the City of Roses.

Due to the lack of depth among male marathon runners, it would not be a surprise if one of the Lesotho athletes claims the honours in the men’s race. Last week saw the runners from the Mountain Kingdom impressing during the Soweto Marathon by claiming several top-10 finishes.

The athletics pundit, Rufus Botha, told Courant that Njeya should be the woman to beat, despite having competed in perhaps a few too many races in 2017.

“Her best time was needless to say when she broke the Free State record in 2:42:00. I’m expecting her to have a good one.

“I guess she’s probably have a few too many marathons this year already.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she runs a time of 3:10:00. I reckon she would definitely finish in the top-3.”

At this stage it is believed that the super-fast Chabeli Nyedimane will be competing in the men’s half marathon. This past weekend Nyedimane, ran the Engen-to-Engen in 1:11:00 and is in sublime form as the moment.

Botha added that should Nyedimane compete this weekend he will be very hard to beat.

“If Chabeli runs in the half marathon he is going to be toughest nut to crack. Definitely among the local guys.

“I cannot see any of the local Free State guys beating him in the 21.1km.

Unfortunately the queen of the 10km in South Africa, Kesa Molotsane, will not be competing this weekend. Her long and very successful season has just been completed and she has started with her well-deserved break. The reigning Spar Women’s 10km Grand Prix champions, will however be in attendance at the event.

This opens the door for the two youngsters, Tyler Beling, and Nicole Louw (Junior Spar Women’s 10km Grand Prix champion) to have a crack at the 10km title.

It has been confirmed at Anastasius Ontong will be running the men’s 10km this weekend and he could very well walk away as the victor.

Online entries for the Music Marathon close on Wednesday, however, runners can still enter on Friday afternoon from 17:00 at the Bloemfontein Achilles Sport Centre, c/o Att Horak Street and Parfitt Avenue, as well as on Saturday morning from 4:30am. – MORGAN PIEK