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Phenomenal atmosphere at Bizos marathon

"I am very pleased by this year's event."

The annual George Bizos Mini Marathon saw runners flock to the streets of Bedfordview.

Hosted by Saheti School on October 1, the sixth edition of the mini marathon had 1 200 runners taking part.

Life vice president of Saheti School, Advocate George Bizos, told the NEWS that the funds raised through the mini marathon will go towards the George Bizos Saheti Scholarship and Bursary Fund.

“The fund provides children access to education. Saheti’s doors are open to everyone,” said Bizos.

Originally a refugee from Greece, Bizos spent most of his life fighting for equality and human rights in South Africa.

After fleeing to SA in World War II, he lived in Johannesburg and did not go to school for a number of years.

The NEWS reported in 2016 that a teacher from Malvern Junior High School insisted that he (Bizos) attend school.

“If it were not for that teacher, things would have been different,” he said.

Head of sport at Saheti and organiser of the marathon, Phillip Venter, said 2017’s mini marathon was the second biggest mini marathon hosted by the school.

He said the 2016 mini marathon was larger by 200 participants.

“I am very pleased with this year’s event and was pleased with the results of previous years’ events too,” said Bizos.

Venter described the atmosphere among the runners as “phenomenal“.

As per the custom of the mini marathon, Bizos began the race by firing the starting pistol.

Venter said the event consisted of 4.2km and 8.4km runs as well as a colour run.

The first man to cross the finish line in the 8.4km race was Nowell Mbotwa (35:09) and the first woman was Tina Bertsatos (39:44).

The first man to cross the finish line in the 4.2km race was Dimitri Papathanasis (20:05) and the first woman was Gwen Muller (21:36).

Shortly after the mini marathon sets off, coloured powder is thrown into the air.

Tina Bertsatos, the first woman to finish the 8.4km race.

Well-known Comrades Marathon runner Bruce Fordyce and Adv George Bizos.

A rainbow of coloured powder left on the road by the runners.

Dimitri Papathanasis, the first man to finish the 4.2km run.

Shaun Sagnetti and Merritt Tyson, dressed in their running gear, before the start of the mini marathon.

Laurel Smith, Courtney Smith and Celeste Wright wait for the mini marathon to start.

Stef de Marchi and Lynda Jacobs wait for the race to start.

Isaac Molouno and Tristan Marle are excited and happy to be taking part in the mini marathon.

Nowell Mbotwa (centre), the first man to complete the 8.4km race.

Community member Geoffrey Bernitz meets Adv George Bizos.

The first woman to complete the 4.2km race, Gwen Muller (right), trails behind young Angelo Gianniosis.

Family and close friends of Adv George Bizos show their support for the annual mini marathon. They are Anna Bizos (daughter-in-law), Irene Kokkoris and Eleni Bizos (granddaughter).

Life vice president of Saheti School, Adv George Bizos, and Saheti School’s executive headmaster Warwick Taylor at the start of the 2017 George Bizos Mini Marathon.


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