‘People’s race’ boasts R100?000 first prize purse

2009-10-30 00:00

THE athletics weekend commences tonight with the second of the Youth/ Junior/Senior Track and field leagues starting at 5.30 pm at the King’s Park track.

This is a restricted programme that takes only three hours, but makes for an enjoyable evening out, and with the new open stand on the back straight of the track, it’s an ideal place for an evening picnic or skottle braai if the weather plays along.

A detailed programme of tonight’s events is available through KZNA offices at 031 312 9374.

There’s only one road race in the province this weekend and that’s the Venk Pac 15-km challenge hosted by Checkout Verulam Falcons from the Verulam Recreation Grounds.

The route is basically an out-and-back course on the Umdloti Beach Road, which means quite severe climbs out through the sugar cane areas to the turn point and a helter-skelter return to the finish.

The race starts at 6 am. Entries will be taken at the ground tomorrow from 2 pm to 5 pm and on the race morning from 5 am. Walkers are welcome on this route.

The usual top notch Verulam hospitality is something to look forward to after the race. Shiela Persad has more details at 083 454 3625.

Nationally, the focus will be on Sowet­o for the 19th running of the Nedbank Marathon, which this year return­s to Nasrec due the massive growth of the field and the unavailability of Orlando Stadium. This is the richest marathon in the country with a R100 000 first prize and has attracted the big names locally in addition to the usual squads of Zimbabwe and Lesotho runners.

Entries will still be taken at Nasrec today and tomorrow for anyone wanting to make a last-minute trip up-country to experience what is known as “The Peoples Race”. More details at 011 880 5800.

Internationally, Hendrick Ramaala and ace wheelchair athlete Ernst Van Dyk carry South African interests in the New York Marathon, which starts at 3 pm SA time on Sunday.

With over R4,5 million in prize money it’s no surprise that the best in the world line up for the tour of the city. Each year over 100 000 applications are made to the race with only about 40 000 being accepted.

New York and London fight it out on a yearly basis to be the world’s biggest marathon. The race will be televised on SuperSport on Sunday afternoon.

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