Two Oceans Marathon this weekend

2011-04-22 00:00

THE feature event this weekend is the Old Mutual Two Oceans marathon and half-marathon.

The combination of distances has attracted over 24 000 runners to the mother city.

The Nurgalieva Twins will once again go into the 56 kilometres as favourites with Old Mutual Om Die Dam winner Lizh Chokore another who is expected to overcome the South African attack.

The men’s race will see two-time Comrades champion Stephen Muzhingi out to improve on his fourth place in 2010, but the competition will be stiff as there are the usual squad of Lesotho runners looking to take gold back to the mountain kingdom.

The largest portion of the event is the half-marathon where a record 14 000 participants will tackle the run up and down the side of Table Mountain.

With groups heading down to Cape Town from early this week, the 41st edition of the race provides a massive multimillion-rand commercial boost to the region, and is sustained by the unreserved support and enthusiasm of the city and provincial government departments.

Back in KwaZulu-Natal next weekend, the Eskom Gijimas half-marathon has been cancelled as the police could not assure the club of coverage and the proposed charges involved.

In January this year the Witness pointed out that road races held in the municipality generated millions for local commerce and in a meeting with the mayor, Councillor Tarr undertook to attend to the problem of policing by training personnel who would be accredited to handle junction and traffic control. Since then, the issue of the outstanding invoices also remains unresolved.

The Eskom Gijimas 21,1 km run/walk scheduled for May 1, one week before local elections, attracts a large field, particularly on Comrades up-run years as runners use this as part of their final preparation to get a feel of the run from Camperdown to the finish. The race sees a number of runners even making the trip from Gauteng and the Free State to experience this critical final section, which includes the infamous Polly Shortts. The lack of assistance in overcoming proposed police charges prompted the club to cancel the race.

The Liquorland Easter Ultra 50 km run is an opportunity for northern KZN runners to put in some Comrades training or qualification over the long weekend.

Starting from the Pioneer High School and not as in previous years at the Paulpietersburg Country Club, this is an out-and-back route with an overall drop in the way out, which means runners need to have strength towards the end of the race. Those still needing a qualifier have to complete the course in less than six hours.

For the faint-hearted runners looking for something faster or for walkers, there’s a half-marathon option.

The traditional Vryheid hospitality will be on offer at the finish, and Ingrid Kusel has more details of the race and local accommodation for those coming from outside the region.

Another useful run, but again a tough qualifier is the 52 km Cavanaugh Marathon. This race benefits from the generous six hours 30 minute qualification time and covers a route around Wagendrift Dam outside Estcourt on the N3. The race takes runners under the dam wall with much of the run through natural scenic bushland.

The race starts at 6 am on Sunday with the half-marathon version open to walkers. Belinda Smith has more details at 082 396 8050.

Once again, the Department of Sport and Recreation are sponsoring the National Youth Run on May 28. The first youth, boy and girl, to cross the finish line will receive R1 000, with prize money going down to tenth place. Although the awards are open to the top ten boys and girls under the age of 19, the event is open to participants over nine years old (five-kilometre) and over 15 for the 10 km. There are also additional prizes for the schools with the greatest number of finishers in the two distances.

More information and entries are available from the KZN Athletics Offices at 031 312 9374.

Comrades runners who live further than 50 km from Durban and earn less that R2 000 per month, or are unemployed, may be eligible for a place at the Runners Village sponsored by the Department of Sport and Recreation.

These runners should have run a marathon faster than 2:45 (men) or 3:15 (women) and must submit their application through the KZN Office by May 3.

The athletics world was rocked this week by the death of Grete Waitz. Waitz was one of Norway’s greatest athletes, winning nine New York and three London Marathons. She set a new world record of two hours 32 minutes and 30 seconds in her debut at the distance in New York, was a multiple world cross-country champion and a leading 10 000 metres athlete who competed at the Olympics. Waitz was one of the leading promoters of women’s distance running, finishing second in the Los Angelos Olympics in 1984. The 57-year-old passed away from cancer on Tuesday.

Age-group runners are reminded that next weekend sees the SA Masters Championships in Durban. The competition will offer cross-country, track and field, and a half-marathon road race, all of which are open to athletes over the age of 30. The competition, which attracts teams from throughout South Africa, is held in five-year age groups, provided the runner is associated to the provincial Masters body. For further information on KZN Masters and entries into the competition, contact the secretary, Jodi Pastorino at 031 564 6709.

The KZNA office issued a media release this week stating that the next cross-country league will be hosted by Clyde Kinlock Sports AC at the University of KZN sport grounds in Francois Road on Saturday May 7. The league starts at noon and follows the standard programme. For more information contact Clyde Kinloch at 082 572 3408.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.