Runners gear up for NMB ASA 21.1km Championships

2017-06-01 06:00

The Nelson Mandela Bay Athletics South Africa 21.1km Championships will set the pace in grand style on Saturday, June 24, with a racing prize purse and lucky draw prizes worth over R645 000.

The Eastern Province Athletics President, Selby Thabethe, said the local committee was proud to host this major event on the road running calendar since 2014.

Thabethe said this top-tier event, which receives annual televised coverage, showcases the Eastern Cape from a tourism standpoint.

“With the support of our title sponsor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, and Athletics South Africa, we aim to grow this event year on year into one of the finest races in South Africa,” said Thabethe.

With R500 000 for the elite field to compete for, Alan Taylor, race director, said South Africa’s top athletes had already confirmed their participation. The 2016 men and women top ten finishers from both Kenya and Ethiopia will be defending their titles.

“The NMB ASA 21.1km Championships allows locals the opportunity to race against the best in the country and therefore develops running in the region,” said Taylor.

The event director, Mike Mbambani, welcomed the race’s new partner, Eastern Cape Motor Group, who have sponsored a brand-new Datsun Go vehicle prize, valued at R106 900.

“The car is the highlight of our lucky draw competition, which means you don’t have to win one of the races to win it!” said Mbambani.

He said the car draw would bring the prize giving to an exciting conclusion after the 21.1km cut off at 11.30 on the Saturday. The official prize-giving ceremony will take place at Pollock Beach race village, Summerstrand.

“Anyone who enters the 21.1km or 5km races will be eligible for the car prize – but you must be there to claim it.”

Five finalists will be drawn for a nail-biting finale to see who wins the car. Adidas will be sponsoring a R2 000 gift voucher for the four consolation prize winners.

The NMB ASA 21.1km Championships, which is an official participation and league event, has grown in response to the needs of the running community. “There’s been a host of changes this year to ensure that we keep improving, said race director, Alan Taylor.

“An example of this would be the new timing facility for the 5km finishers who have enjoyed this service with their park runs, and will not miss out at this event.”

He said the NMB ASA 21.1km Championship event had incentivised school involvement with a prize of sport equipment to the value of R30 000 for the top five schools with the most bulk entries.

The 21.1km route, credited as the fastest in South Africa, will start and finish at Pollock Beach, Summerstrand.

The 21.1km road race starts at 8am and the 5km fun run starts at 7:30am. Vehicles will gain access to the start from 8th Avenue as well as from 2nd Avenue into the Bird Rock parking area on the sea side until 7am on raceday.

Enter online at www.whereinpe.co.za/sport or at local sports shops before June 20. Registration and late entries will take place at the Summerstrand Surf Lifesaving Club from 2pm to 8pm on Friday, June 23 and from 5:30 on the morning of raceday.

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