Konica Minolta Jackie Mekler Road Race

| 6 June 2017

A record 11 years together for Konica Minolta South Africa and Jackie Mekler Road Race

PRETORIA – June 06, 2017 – 2017 saw a record 11th year of support for Konica Minolta South Africa’s sponsorship of the popular Gauteng-based Konica Minolta Jackie Mekler Road Race, named to commemorate legendary Comrades runner Jackie Mekler, who dominated the event between 1953 and 1969. Konica Minolta South Africa is a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd.

More than 2,600 runners participated in this year’s 10/25km run, with almost 1,200 finishers in the 10km race and around 1,500 in the 25km race, which both began at Pretoria Military Sports Club.

Mekler, who was once again in attendance on the day, is still one of only five people to have won the Comrades five times (the others are Arthur Newton, Hardy Ballington, Wally Hayward and Bruce Fordyce). He is also the only great Comrades runner of the race’s very early days still alive today, with the likes of Arthur Newton, the first to win the comrades five times from 1922 to 1927, Hardy Ballington in the 1930s, and Wally Hayward, who made the race his own in the 1950s, now deceased.

Aside from winning 10 gold medals, Mekler was also the first to make it across the Comrades finish line in less than six hours in 1963. The Jackie Mekler Road Race has been organised for the past 31 years by the Pretoria Military Marathon Club, who remains a primary sponsor today. Originally Mekler had an ultramarathon named after him in the spirit of commemorating some of the greats in Comrades history, including Bruce Fordyce and Alan Robb. Mekler’s race was originally organised and sponsored by the Pretoria Marathon Club until it ran into logistical difficulties in the mid-1980s after six successful events. The Pretoria Military Marathon Club then rose to the challenge, willingly becoming the new sponsor of the race, required however to reduce the distance to accommodate suburban growth in the greater Pretoria area.

Ritchi Smith, Konica Minolta South Africa’s national marketing coordinator, says, “It has given us great pleasure, since 2006, for Konica Minolta South Africa to sponsor this wonderful and well-attended Jackie Mekler Road Race, which attracts some of South Africa’s top athletes. We congratulate the Pretoria Military Marathon Club for another excellent event and as a company, we are humbled to once again repeat our association with one of South Africa’s running greats. It is particularly special for us to be associated with Jackie, as his own career outside running includes some three decades in the printing industry, ultimately becoming MD of Penrose Press. 1 ”

This year’s overall winners for the 25-kilometre race were Tiisetso Ramokheseng (Colossus), who finished in 1:21:08 in the men’s race and Kim Laxton (RAC) in the women’s race, who completed the distance in just 1:41:00.

In the 10-kilometre run, Jacob Tseko (Tuks) and Leshan Curlewis (Waterkoof HS) were first across the line for the men and women, in 31:49 and 38:00 respectively. Leshan Curlewis was also placed first in the Women’s Juniors Category.

Smith concludes, “The race is one that is much anticipated every year in the road-running fraternity and the ‘Pink Ladies’, who gave out water this year at one of the race’s water holes, were a popular feature and added a bit of fun, albeit in aid of a serious cause. Their pink outfits were to show support in the fight against breast cancer.”

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe


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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