Runner found dead after completing his second Comrades Marathon
Two days after successfully completing his second Comrades Marathon, Limpopo runner Sonnyboy Ngobeni was found dead in his home.
The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) confirmed on Wednesday that the 55-year-old athlete, who represented the University of Limpopo's running club, died after taking part in the ultramarathon on June 9.
He completed the race in just under 10 hours, his 9:53'44 being well within the 12-hour cutoff.
His running partner, Thabo Buthani, told TimesLIVE that the death came as a shock to the running club, which he joined about two years ago.
"We ran most of the race together. He did not complain once. He seemed fine afterwards as well. We returned to Limpopo on Monday and Sonnyboy was still fine."
Buthani said he became concerned when his calls to Ngobeni went unanswered. "On Wednesday I went to his place to check on him. His door was locked from the inside. I had to break down the door.
"When I went in, I found him lying there. It appears he died in his sleep," said Buthani.
CMA chairperson Cheryl Winn said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Ngobeni. This was his second Comrades, at which he achieved his Comrades back-to-back medal."
Ngobeni will be buried on Saturday.
According to the CMA, 595 runners received medical treatment at the race's extensive medical facility on the day.