Palapye — Sherpherd Kenatshele, 34, emerged victorious in the second Palapye half marathon recording one hour six minutes and 15 seconds in his 21km race.
Kenatshele beat defending champion Godiraone Nthomphe who got position two after recording one hour seven minutes and 10 seconds while Tsholego Keitshekile obtained position three.
Speaking in an interview after the race, Kenatshele from Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Athletics Club said he was happy with the time he recorded, as he participated in the competition after he had an injury.
He said because of the injury he sustained last September, he has been training less and that his victory came as a surprise. However, he said he recently participated in other races in Pretoria and the Lady Khama race where he got position three in both races.
Being the Palapye half marathon champion, he said has motivated him to enhance his training. Meanwhile, Kenatshele said he was impressed with the organisation of the marathon, saying it was well organised as there were marshalls everywhere along the way.
However, he said organisers must consider giving participants, particularly for thr 21km race, consolation prizes in the form of t-shirts in order to motivate athletes and market the marathon.
His counterpart in the female category, Mantshapelo Badumetse beat all the female athletes recording 1 hour 24 minutes 15 seconds.
Badumetse, who was also a first timer in the half marathon, said she was happy to have participated. Badumetse was seconded by last year's winner, Meme Tiango while Kealeboga Bulolo scooped position three.
The half marathon coordinator, Moagi Rahube said the main purpose of the race was to promote Palapye, fitness and giving back to the community.
He said he and his team got into partnership with House of Hope Charitable Trust in Palapye who will receive 15 per cent of the proceeds.
He said he was impressed with the growth of the event, saying last year they had less than 200 participants while this year they registered over 600 participants from across Africa including Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Lesotho.
For his part, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development principal programmes officer for Palapye, Letlogile Seoforeng encouraged people to participate in the marathon, adding that fitness does not discriminate.
"We all have to exercise in a certain way to improve our health therefore the organisers of Palapye half marathon deserve a pat on the back for their effort to improve people's health."
He urged the private sector to also come on board. He promised that the event would be included in the annual calendar of events in 2019, adding that next year the ministry would market the event.
In the 10km race, Kefilwe Galeitsewe scooped position one, seconded by Lame Nare and Maitumelo Gotswakgosi on third position in the women's race.
Kagiso Kebatshwaretse won the men's 10km race beating Mantle Kekganetswe and Sylvester Koko who scooped positions two and three respectively.
Eight-year-old Sadi Senatla, who was the youngest participant, was also recognised for managing to complete 4km fun race in position three.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>