Taking the journey together: Konica Minolta South Africa supports Jackie Mekler road race for tenth year

| 9 May 2016

JOHANNESBURG – 09 May 2016 – This year saw Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa proudly sponsor the popular Gauteng-based Jackie Mekler road race 10 years in a row.


The name of the event is commemorative of Comrades Marathon legend, Jackie Mekler, who dominated the event between 1953 and 1969, achieving five Comrades wins and 10 gold medals. He was also the first to make it to the finish line in less than six hours in 1963. To date, he is still one of only five people to have won the Comrades on five occasions.


The Jackie Mekler road race has been organised for the past 30 years by the Pretoria Military Marathon Club. This year’s race took place on 07 May 2016 and was exceptionally well attended, with over 3,000 runners taking part, all of whom were grateful for the fine race conditions.


It has been a most successful sponsorship for Konica Minolta South Africa, which is mainly due to the popularity of running as a sport in South Africa,” says Ritchi Smith, national marketing coordinator at Konica Minolta South Africa. “The Jackie Mekler event attracts some of South Africa’s top athletes and gives us excellent exposure. As a company we are most proud to align ourselves with the Pretoria Military Marathon Club and of course Mr. Jackie Mekler, who achieved such greatness in his running career.”


This year’s overall winners for the 25-kilometre mens race were Luwis Masunda who finished in 1:23:0 and who was also the first veteran across the line. The winner for the women’s race, Caroline Wostmann, completed the race in just 01:47:01.


The name of the event is commemorative of Comrades Marathon legend, Jackie Mekler, who dominated the event between 1953 and 1969, achieving five Comrades wins and 10 gold medals. He was also the first to make it to the finish line in less than six hours in 1963. To date, he is still one of only five people to have won the Comrades on five occasions.


In the 10-kilometre run, Esau Radebe and Marli van Staden were first across the line for the men and women, in 32:20 and 42:01 respectively; Jackson Seanego (36:00) and Marili Munnik (45:00) were also placed first in the Veterans category (40 to 49 age group).


“A particularly special moment during this year’s race was when 84 year old Deidré Larkin was named as the Great Grand Master Lady for the 10-kilometre race, finishing with a time of 59:54, which is an excellent achievement,” Smith adds.


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Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Konica Minolta enables its clients to champion the digital era: with its unique imaging expertise and data processing capabilities, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers and solves issues faced by society. As a provider of comprehensive IT services, Konica Minolta delivers consultancy and services to optimise business processes with workflow automation. The company further offers its customers solutions and managed services in the field of IT infrastructure and IT security as well as cloud environments. With regard to its office printing solutions, "IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2020 Vendor Assessment" stated that Konica Minolta is "recognised globally as a leader in print transformation". As a strong partner for the professional printing market, Konica Minolta offers business consulting, state-of-the-art technology and software and has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource). Its Business Innovation Centre in London and four R & D laboratories in Europe enable Konica Minolta to bring innovation forward by collaborating with its customers as well as academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. For its innovative service approach that complements their devices perfectly, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘"Buyers Lab PaceSetter Award for Serviceability and Support 2020/2021" by Keypoint Intelligence. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With approximately 10,000 employees (as of April 2020), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over 2.34 billion in financial year 2019/2020.

 

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