EASTERN Cape athletes failed to finish in the money in the inaugural Legends Ultra Marathon – Running for a Cause, which started at the Bhisho Stadium and ended at the Jan Smuts Stadium in East London on Saturday.
George Ntshiliza and Eric Sigashe, who were both expected to challenge for a podium finish, were among the 33 athletes who did not complete the gruelling race.
Colleen Makaza, of KwaZulu-Natal, who completed the course in 3:50:36, pocketed R100000. Ludwick Mamabolo, of Limpopo, finished second in 3:56:25 to pick up R50000, while Victor Ngubelanga (KZN), who finished third in 3:37:02, won R30000.
The top 20 athletes in both the men's and women's categories shared R1-million in prize money, with the runner finishing 20th receiving R1500.
In the women's category Fikile Mbuthumu (KZN, 5:09:38) finished first ahead of Gladys Lukwareni (Pretoria, 5:10:09) and Regina Koech (Kenya, 5:14:36). Mbuthumu was 49th overall.
The race was organised by East London-based Overtakers Sporting Club, with the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board (ECGBB) as the title sponsor – with support by provincial government as well.
Economic Development, Environ- mental Affairs and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas and ECGBB chairman Odwa Mtati said events such as the Legends Ultra Marathon helped to boost the province's image and so attract tourism.