New race for the city

2019-09-13 16:39
Chairperson of the newly-launched Capital City Marathon, Steve Mkasi, speaks at the launch in Maritzburg yesterday as Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skosana (second right) looks on.

Chairperson of the newly-launched Capital City Marathon, Steve Mkasi, speaks at the launch in Maritzburg yesterday as Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skosana (second right) looks on. (Umbani photography)

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The ambitious-looking organisers of the new Capital City Marathon have come out to refute claims that their race is part of a master plan to revive the defunct Maritzburg City Marathon.

The Capital City Marathon was officially launched at the Golden Horse Casino in the city on Thursday, almost seven months after it was confirmed that the Maritzburg City Marathon is no more.

Present at the launch was Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skosana.

The new race will take place on February 23, which is pretty much around the same time the old organisers used to host their race, which was a popular Comrades Marathon qualifier.

The chairperson of the Capital City Marathon, Steve Mkasi, said the new race is being organised by four local athletics clubsMaritzburg City, Phuma KZN, Amaqhawe and Abasubathi. 

“The race is not a revival of the Maritzburg City Marathon,” he said.

“We are not the Maritzburg City Marathon and we are not related to the Maritzburg City Marathon.

“We are not cousins, not even distant cousins, we hope to not ever be cousins because you can’t be a cousin with a dead person,” he said.

“This is a new baby. The Maritzburg City Marathon celebrated the city of Pietermaritzburg. Capital City Marathon celebrates Pietermaritzburg as the capital of KwaZulu-Natal; we are celebrating the province.

“If the capital city was Durban, we would host this event in Durban. But the capital city is Pietermaritzburg and it happened that the Maritzburg City Marathon closed its doors and it opened the market for us to host the race here without any confliction of dates and other things,” said Mkasi.

The reason for the demise of the Maritzburg City Marathon was a lack of support from Msunduzi Municipality due “to cost-cutting measures” and traffic issues.

However, Mkasi said the municipality has promised to support the new race.

“The discussions are profitable. Msunduzi Municipality, with all its challenges, has committed itself to things that we asked from them,” said Mkasi.

“Chief among them was to get an office allocated to the race, at the athletics stadium. The municipality has committed to helping us.”

Sources have told The Witness that the reason for the demise of the old race was that the relationship between the organisers and the local government had gone sour.

The new race, which will be a Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon qualifier, will accommodate only 8000 runners. In the 42,2 km, 3500 runners will be allowed, while the 21,1 km will accommodate 2500 runners, and the 10km will accommodate 2000 runners.

The winner of the marathon will pocket R10000, while the half-marathon winner will take home R2500.

The 10km winner will receive prize money of R1500.

 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  marathon
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