May 31, 1989 |
Samuel Tshabalala became the first black to win the country's most prestigious distance race, the Comrades Marathon, when he covered the 55.5 miles in 5 hours, 35 minutes, 51 seconds today. Blacks took six of the top 10 positions in the 64th running of the ultra-marathon, which is more than twice as long as the standard marathon of 26.2 miles. Tshabalala, 32, topped second-place finisher Willie Mtolo by 4:06. Frenchman Jean-Marc Bellocq was third in 5:42:28. The top woman finisher, Frith van der Merwe, placed 15th overall in 5:54:43.