Tough Sani Stagger again over-subscribed

2010-11-26 00:00

THE annual Sani Stagger is held tomorrow morning and once again this scenic race was over-subscribed, particularly for the down run half-marathon.

Although a Comrades qualifier the marathon, which requires runners to climb from the Sani Pass Hotel up to the Lesotho border post and back down, is extremely taxing. Past Comrades winner Dmitri Grishine was only able to run a time of three hours, 11 minutes for the race, which sees only a handful of runners manage to better the required five-hour qualifier for Comrades or Two Oceans entries.

The mountain pass was re-graded over the recent months and was in great condition when the measurement took place in October. If the recent rains have not eroded the fill, there is every chance that the times will be very fast for both distances.

Vehicles take the half-marathon runners to the top of the pass for the  9 am start, while marathon runners commence on the golf course at Sani Pass Hotel at 6 am.

Trish Crawley of Sani Athletic Club has more details at 083 447 0766.

Stella host their popular Tribute 15 km race on Sunday in Durban in honour of the late Olive Knight and Sipho Nzama.

This course uses Manning Road, and Bulwer Road as the main sides of a rectangular lap which is repeated twice for the 15 km distance.

The race starts outside the Stella Sports Club in Davenport (Helen Joseph Road, Glenwood) at 6 am. Entries are taken at the club on Saturday from 2 pm to 4.30 pm and on race morning from 5 am. Cecil Sher has details at 083 566 3333.

With the upheaval of Athletics South Africa over the last year, there is going to be a delay with the issuing of licence numbers for 2011. A notice is now doing the rounds to the clubs informing runners that the 2010 licence numbers will be valid until January 31, 2011, by which time the new numbers will be able to be bought.

Another change is that provinces will be printing and providing temporary licences for 2011. The cost of these have been determined by provincial executive’s, not ASA, and KZN runners are in for a surprise when the new 2011 costs are revealed at races next year.

Clubs are able to add a small amount to the money that is returned to the province so it is impossible to have fixed prices, but the base price set by KZNA is unlikely to attract newcomers to the sport, particularly at short distance events.

Runners wishing to line up for the 86th Comrades Marathon on May 29, 2011, have only four days remaining until entries close.

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