KZN team heads for PE for SA Nedbank Champs

2009-07-03 00:00

NATIONALLY the road running focus is on tomorrow’s SA Nedbank Half-Marathon Championships on the flat, fast Eastern Cape course in Motherwell outside Port Elizabeth.

Teams from the 17 athletic provinces will compete over the single-lap route around the township, with a reduced KZN team making their way to PE this morning. Tanith Maxwell is in good shape and will spearhead the KZN ladies with Danielle Adlam and Jenna Challenor in support. Thubalethu Phaku, Sbonelo Duma, and Bongumusa Mthembu, who placed seventh in Comrades, provide the province’s attack in the senior men’s competition, but as with the women will be unable to compete for team awards as the province has been unable to convince four members to race in the provincial colours in these categories.

A recent announcement of time incentives valued at close to R500 000 is sure to result in fast times in a race that last year saw Stephen Mokoka take the honours in 62 minutes and three seconds, with Hendrick Ramaala second. (See tomorrow’s Weekend Witness for a full race preview).

Locally, Queensburgh provides the first official race back after the Comrades with their 10-km race, starting on Sunday morning at 7 am from the Queensburgh Sports Club in Bowler Road.

This is the second year this single lap event has been held. After a lightning fast downhill through to Hilary the route undulates up Stella Road to the Clubhouse. Organisers are anticipating a good turnout and have received notable interest from a number of up-country athletes who are enjoying the school holidays at the coast. There is equal prize money on offer to both runners and walkers and the first 500 finishers receive T-shirts. Lucky draws include running shoes, and cholesterol testing machines. Entries will be taken tomorrow at the clubhouse from noon to 5 pm and on race morning. Dean Wight has more details on 083 630 2423.

Entries are open for the 2009 Spar Ladies Challenge on July 26. The event attracts both the leading athletes over the 10-km distance and thousands of recreational runners and walkers who participate over five- and 10-km courses.

The race starts and finishes at the Sahara Kingsmead Cricket stadium and entry forms are available at Spar outlets and the KZNA offices (031 312 9374).

All athletes are invited to take part in next weekend’s ASA Invitation Interprovincial Cross Country championships, which will take place at the Amajuba High School grounds in Newcastle. A KZN team is due to be announced next week, and for more information athletes can contact the KZNA offices on 031 312 9374.

The next local cross country league is the Savages event at the Durban Cycle Stadium on July 18.

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