Sani Stagger Marathon Media Release

 No: SS1903

 19 Nov 2019

Embargo: None

Written by: Nick Tatham

Some big names hunting Sani Stagger crown

Underberg Ė The 2019 Sani Stagger marathon that sold out in record time will see a number of former champions back to try and add to their wins when the race gets under way at the Premier Resort Sani Pass this Saturday.

Despite the fact that defending champion Bongmusa Mthembu and his Arthur Ford team mate Nkosinathi Duma are notably absent from the entry list this year, the elite field is very strong.

A former winner that will be back in 2019 is Skhumbuzo Dlamini. He obliterated the field in a record time of three hours and four minutes in 2014 to claim victory ahead of Shezi.

His record hasnít been challenged since, even when won the race again in 2016. Last year he finished in fourth place and if the stars align he will be one to watch out for going into this yearís race.

There is another former winner of the start line in Prodigal Khumalo. Khumalo won the race in 2012. Khumalo missed the Comrades this year but has two gold medals to his name in the past six years, with another top twenty finishes amongst the those.

Local Underberg resident Philip Shezi will be back again in 2019 searching for a win to add to his impressive list of finishes at the Southern Drakensberg event.

Over the past seven years Shezi has been a regular on the podium, with three third place finishes and a second to his name. This consistency will make him another threat over the iconic route up and down the famous Sani Pass this weekend.

Maxed athlete Nkosikhona Mhlakwana will be on the start line this weekend. The 26 year-old finished eleventh overall at the Comrades Marathon in June and will be a threat to the top step of the podium on Saturday.

There will be a strong contingent of Maxed athletes joining Mhlakwana on the start line this weekend and they will be hoping to dominate the final results.

In a tough turn of events 2018 womenís champion Lisa Collett has had to withdraw from the race following her collapse on the finish line at the South Coast Marathon last weekend due to dehydration.

Collett smashed the womenís field in 2018, winning the race by 25 minutes and finishing in fifteenth place overall.

This means that the only lady who finished on the podium in 2018 that will be returning for the race is third place Roxanne Vale.

2018ís fourth place finisher Aphiwe Gaga will be back to better her efforts from two years ago having missed out on the event last year.

The Sani Stagger marathon is a 2020 Comrades Marathon qualifier and gives runners the opportunity to test themselves at altitude along the gravel road up and down the famous Sani Pass, while the hugely popular half-marathon starts at the summit before returning to the South African border post and then to the Premier Resort Sani Pass.

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Local Underberg runner Philip Shezi will be hoping to claim the title that has eluded him over the years when he takes on the famous Sani Stagger Marathon on Saturday, 23 November. Anthony Grote/
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