CAPE TOWN – The country's top long-distance specialists will be in action at the Athletics SA (ASA) Marathon Championships which will be incorporated in the Cape Town Marathon on Sunday.
Two-time former SA 42km champ Benedict Moeng will be among the leading contenders for the national men's crown, targeting a career treble in the colours of Athletics Gauteng North (AGN).
He will face a number of potential challengers, however, including Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) star Sibusiso Nzima titles who is aiming to prove he has the credentials to shine over the classic distance on home soil.
Four-time Shanghai Marathon winner, Stephen Mokoka and former SA champion Desmond Mokgobu, are also in the field for the open race in the Mother City, though they will not be eligible for national titles as they will not represent their provinces.
A strong local field has been assembled in the women's race. Nolene Conrad, who turns out among the contenders in the the IAAF Gold Label event, will line be the pre-race favourite for the SA title.
Conrad is up against Christine and Rene Kalmer, who have both previously represented South Africa in the Olympic marathon, as well as their CGA teammate, Mapaseka Makhanya.
Veteran athletes Tanith Maxwell (WPA), another former Olympic athlete, and Charne Bosman, a former Comrades Marathon winner and two-time SA 42km champion, are also expected to challenge for medals.
The race starts at 6.40am in Green Point on Sunday and finishes at Cape Town Stadium.
African News Agency (ANA)