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Makhanya makes merry with personal best at Hannover Marathon

Mapaseka Speed star Makhanya

By Mark Etheridge

Already a multiple winner on the local road scene Mapaseka Makhanya raced to a memorable personal best in the Hannover Marathon in Germany on Sunday.
After a personal best of 2hr 36min 36sec at the Gauteng Marathon last year, the Roodepoort athlete blitzed to a 2:31:02 personal best which was good for third spot on the day.
Race winner was Algeria’s Souad Ait Salem in a time of 2:27:21, the second fastest time in the history of the race, with Russia’s Olga Kotovska second in 2:29:13.
Makhanya went into the race looking for a sub 2:30 time. But she says things just didn’t work out exactly as planned.
‘I know sub 2:30 was attainable and I was even on course for an SA record at one point,’ she tells Road to Rio 2016.
Her 10km split was 34:52 and she went through the halfway mark in 73:38.
The 30-year-old mother of one says it was the weather conditions that eventually put a spanner in the works. ‘I started taking strain as I got colder and colder.
‘Even at the water points I had to take my drinks with both hands I was so cold. So it was pretty bad. Still, even at 34km I realised I could still get a good time and told myself that I can run sub 30min for 8m then I can still go 2:30. The race temperature was around seven degrees Celsius, which for me is freezing,’ she laughed.
‘There were about eight elite East African women runners and I was in the second group. But most of them faded as the race went on. I made up a lot of places as they dropped back after halfway.’
Her time of 2:31:01 is an automatic IAAF qualifier for both World Championships in Beijing, China later this year as well as the Rio Olympics next year, SASCOC criteria permitting for the latter event.
‘I’m so happy because I really wanted to qualify for Rio. I’ll still do another marathon later this year but not sure which one yet.’
Asked what she had learnt from this race to take into her next marathon endeavour, the reply was instant – ‘patience and self-belief.
‘And oh yes, I definitely believe I can go faster still…’

Picture of Makhanya courtesy of Peter Vollmert


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