DEFENDING champion Sandile Ngunuza will be back for more glory on January 25 when he takes on The Herald Rafi’s Builders Warehouse Friendly City Marathon.
Ngunuza, of Nedbank Running Club, plans to improve on last year’s time of two hours, 29 minutes and 11 seconds, aiming to finish within two hours and 25 minutes.
“The new Friendly City Marathon route will offer the perfect balance for my Comrades Marathon training, as the first 21km is fairly flat and fast, with a more challenging and hilly second 21km,” Ngunuza said.
Ngunuza has his sights set on finishing in the top 10 of the Comrades, after ending in 14th place last year.
With more than R40000 in prizes and a new start/finish venue, organisers aim to attract a bumper turnout.
According to Achilles Club race director Alan Taylor, the 23rd event sets out to appeal to all levels of participants, from the long distance to the fun runner.
“We would like to encourage schools to support the 5km as Coca- Cola has sponsored a premium Packard Bell laptop for the school with the most entrants.
“Runners will be able to enjoy a family experience at the Fountain Vineyard Church, the venue which will host the new start and finish of the marathon.”
A range of refreshments will be on offer, and a fun play area will be provided for the children.
Pre-race registration will take place at Rafi’s Appliances and Mattresses in Newton Park on Friday evening, January 24, from 5pm to 7pm and the first 500 entrants at registration will receive free T-shirts.
For those participants not in line for a podium finish, there will be plenty on offer, including superb appliance prizes from Rafi’s Appliances and Mattresses, valued at more than R15000, Builders Warehouse Prizes valued at R15000 plus six pairs of premium running shoes from Adidas valued at R9500.
The first 500 finishers in the marathon and the first 500 in the 10km and 5km will receive medals.
Taylor said the medal ceremony and lucky draws would take place at the official prize-giving following the marathon at 11am.
The event includes a 42.2km marathon, a 10km race and a 5km Corporate Challenge and fun run.
Runners will line up for the marathon at 5am, the 10km at 6.30am and the 5km event at 8.30am.
The cost is R85 for the marathon, R40 for the 10km and R25 for the 5km Corporate Challenge and fun run.
The temporary licence for the marathon and 10km is R25.
Marathon runners 65 years and over will only pay 50% of race fee.
Entry forms are available from Rafi’s Appliances and Mattresses, Builders Warehouse, Brian Bands and major sports stores.
For more info go to www.achilles.co.za and www.theherald.co.za or contact Alan Taylor on 083-658-0050.