Half marathon beckons runners to Bay this weekend

2018-07-25 06:02
Veteran athlete Renee Hawkridge (67) will be flying her Bluewater Bay Athletics Club colours when she competes in the NMB ASA Half Championship on Saturday, July 28.          Photo:RICHARD PEARCE PHOTOGRAPHY

Veteran athlete Renee Hawkridge (67) will be flying her Bluewater Bay Athletics Club colours when she competes in the NMB ASA Half Championship on Saturday, July 28. Photo:RICHARD PEARCE PHOTOGRAPHY

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AFTER 17 years Renee Hawkridge, a 67-year-old member of Bluewater Bay Athletics Club, still loves running.

Hawkridge, who started running at the age of 50 and has not looked back since, will be participating for the third consecutive year in the Nelson Mandela Bay Athletics SA Half Championships on Saturday, July 28.

She has an impressive record of winning in her age group for the past two years and hopes to retain her position this year.

“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 Michael Mbambani, Ikhamva Club coach and EPA sponsorship liaison.

The event will include a 5km fun run in addition to the popular half marathon and all clubs and school athletic teams are encouraged to enter.

“There’s been a generous increase in prize money with the overall male and female winner taking home R80 000.

“In addition, this year ASA have introduced a bonus incentive of R25 000 should a South African athlete finish first, boosting the winning purse to R105 000,” added Mbambani.

The NMB ASA 21.1km Championships have incentivised school involvement again this year with a generous prize of stationery to the value of R22 500 for the top three schools with the most bulk entries for the 5km run.

The cherry on the top for all participants in both the half marathon and 5km fun run is that one of them will drive away in a brand-new Datsun Go sponsored by the race’s prize partner, Eastern Cape Motor Group.

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

The official attendance-only prize-giving ceremony will take place at 10:30 at Pollock Beach race village, Summerstrand.

The 21.1km route, credited as the fastest in South Africa, will start and end at Pollock Beach. Runners will need to complete two fast laps along the spectator-friendly beach front.

Starting from Marine Drive they will head towards Kings Beach then turn and run through NMU, down Admiralty Road and head back to Kings Beach for the second loop before the finish back at Pollock Beach.

A full rolling road closures from 05:30 will ensure a safe run and minimum inconvenience for the public. The 21.1km road race starts at 07:00 and the 5km fun run at 09:00.

Vehicles can gain access to the start from 8th Avenue and 4th Avenue into the Bird Rock parking area until 06:30.

Registration and late entries will take place at the Summerstrand Surf Lifesaving Club on July 27 from 14:00 to 19:00 and on race day from 05:30.

For more info contact Mike Mbambani at 079 149 6796.

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