Champion marathon athlete, Louisa Leballo, crossed the finish line in ninth position in a time of 3:12:28 at the third leg of Standard Chartered’s Greatest Race on Earth in Mumbai yesterday morning (Sunday, January 21).
Leballo is a member of the South African team competing in the Women’s Team Challenge category of the four-leg, relay Race that carries cash prizes of $200 000. The winners are calculated on the cumulative times of the four participating athletes.
The Standard Chartered Greatest Race is being contested in four countries over a five month period and features cash prizes totaling $1,5 million.
Leballo’s challenge this morning came not only from her fellow competitors but also the hot and humid weather conditions.
Billed as “the historic race” due to the architecture and other landmarks that are evidence of the Indian city’s rich past, the Mumbai leg followed a flattish course along some of the city’s major highways and roads that were closed to traffic for the event.
Fellow champion athletes Farwa Mentoor and Riana van Niekerk ran the first and second legs of the Greatest Race in Nairobi and Singapore respectively. Mentoor finished the Kenyan race in ninth position.
As a result of a faulty microchip in van Niekerk’s running shoe neither her participation in the Singapore Race or her official time was recorded by the microchip.
There is however photographic and other evidence to substantiate her run. Due to this technical glitch the official placing of the South African team after the completion of the first three legs of the four-leg marathon is still to be confirmed by the Race organisers.
The fourth and final leg of Standard Chartered’s Greatest Race on Earth will be contested by another Pretoria-based athlete, Gloria Baebo, in Hong Kong on March 4.