JOHANNESBURG – The 'Sold Out' sign for this year’s Soweto Marathon will be up soon, with the organisers saying yesterday that entries had already reached the 25 000 mark.
“We have less than five thousand entries left and we would like to urge runners to make their entries today to avoid disappointment,” said Sello Khunou, chairman of the Soweto Marathon Trust. “(There are) already less than five thousand entries to go.”
That the race, which incorporates three distances - the marathon, the half-marathon and the 10km - is so popular is because of several reasons, according to Khunou.
“It is Soweto and we know that all runners - from the elite to the social ones - would love to add our medal to their collection. And then there’s the fact that the race goes through and past some of the historic places in the township that makes it so popular. It is the People’s Race.”
And then there’s the prize money for the winners.
“This year, we are increasing the prize money from R220 000 to R250 000 each, for the marathon winning man and woman. We believe this is a great prize and every year we encourage our local runners to work hard at ensuring that the money stays here. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been the case.”
“We are once again saying to South African runners, this is your chance to win a great prize, and we urge them to make time to train on the marathon route, get familiar with it so that come race day they are able to prevail.”
The #SoldOut Sign is coming, we are almost into our last 5000 entries for this year's @OldMutualSA #SowetoMarathon! Don't miss out, enter today, click on the link and secure your spot in this year's People's Race! #OMSoweto2018 #RunYOURGreat https://t.co/gDLmX5oUhA pic.twitter.com/5IM7goI0vW
Last year’s race was won by Tshepo Mathibelle of Lesotho, while Irvette van Zyl at least ended the nine year domination of the race by foreign woman with her victory.
Khunou said the route will remain the same, with the race starting just outside the FNB Stadium and finishing on the pitch.
“One of the things we have learnt over the years is the fact that hydration is very important as the race takes place in the heat of the summer and we are once again going to make sure that our water points are all fully stocked. We are very committed to ensuring that the runners do not get dehydrated or suffer from heat strokes.”
Entries for the race can be made online at www.sowetomarathon.com or alternatively at the following shops:
The Sweat Shop at Bedford Arcade, Dunkeld West, Broadacres and Southdowns; Central Gauteng Athletics in Germiston; the Run-A-Way Store at Lynwood Ridge in Pretoria; STS Sport at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and the Orlando Community Centre.