By SYDNEY MORWENG
It’s regarded as one of the well organized marathons events in the calendar of sports in South Africa.
Yes, we’re talking about the popular and historical Soweto Marathon which races off on November 7 at the Rand Show Show Road, Nasrec.
According to the organizers entrants for this year surpassed the 2009 number having passed the 1700 mark, however those who consider themselves fit enough and energetic still have the chance to meet the cut-off date this weekend by entering at either Maponya or Jabulani Malls respectively.
With a victory purse of R100 000 each for both top male and female athletes in the open category, the stakes are high as the country’s leading long distance stars are joined by masses of recreational athletes to be part of this exciting event.
Word has it that, local and international female and male athletes will once again contend for this year’s much improved first prize.
The race begins at 06h00 and the following routes have been identified: it will go via Madibane High School and Orlando Stadium, past the home of former President Nelson Mandela and the Hector Peterson Memorial.
As it gets hotter and adrenaline reaching fever pitch, not withstanding the heat and ululation and whistling from (abomahlalela) loafers and excited dogs, the race will pass Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s current home, via Kliptown, Walter Sisulu Square and pass the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital – the biggest hospital in Africa.
For the physically challenged, I prefer not to identify them as disabled because they’re able will take part in the 10km wheelchair race starting 06h20, with the 10km race and 10km walk starting at 6.20am and 6.30am respectively.
The “meet and greet” as I would label the 5km fun run will commence at 8am.
Athletes, who have entered for the November 7 event, are requested to collect their race numbers between 09h00 and 19h00 from the Athletics SA offices in Houghton on November 3-4 or from the MTN Expo Centre in Nasrec on November 5-6.
Entries fees for the marathon are R80 per athlete, with the 10km (R40), 10km walk (R40), 10km wheelchair (R40) and 5km fun run (R15).
Athletes over the age of 60 years will be able to enter free of charge with temporary license fees for the 42.2km race charged at R30 per athlete and the 10km run or walk at R15 per athlete.