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Family in shock after runner passes on after collapsing while running the marathon

Tributes and condolences have been pouring in after the sudden death of veteran marathon runner, Philip Mokoena (72), during the Mall of the North Marathon in Polokwane on Saturday, April 6.

Dr Wasnaar Mokoena, the Mokoena’s family spokesperson, confirmed the tragic incident and said the family is still reeling from shock. He said his brother had no chronic condition, was not under medical treatment and was in good physical condition. “My brother had run a short distance when he collapsed during the 42.2km race in Polokwane.

Paramedics performed resuscitation and took him to Polokwane Hospital and the doctor on duty continued with resuscitation. He was later certified dead.” Mokoena started running in 1962 and was a member of the Foskor Athletics Club. He has participated in the Comrades, Soweto, and the Two Oceans marathons.

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The Foskor Athletics Club chairperson, Solomon Makhubidu, told the Herald that Mokoena’s death is painful. “One minute you are talking and laughing together and the next minute they are no more,” he said. Mokoena was born at Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek and completed his matric through Lyceum College.

He worked at various furniture shops and insurance companies. He is survived by his wife, Dorcus, four children, and eight grandchildren. On Thursday, April 11, the family will host a memorial service for him at the Namakgale Town Hall and the funeral will be held on Saturday, April 13 at the Namakgale Community Hall.

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