Bigger, better Bay Ultra Marathon being lined up

Athletes are gearing up for the Bay Ultra Marathon next month. At a media briefing yesterday were, from left, Body Concept Road Warriors vice-chairman Wim Schroeder with Bay triathletes Lauren Smith, Bruce Gie and Luvuyo Bangazi
Picture: Amir Chetty

Port Elizabeth’s finest runners will put their best foot forward as they dash down Marine Drive in pursuit of the Bay Ultra Marathon title next month.

The race, organised by Body Concept Road Warriors and powered by Amobia Communications, will see a field of top runners from around the country battle it out for the 50km title on February 3.

At a media briefing yesterday, Body Concept vice-chairman Wim Schroeder said this year’s race was aimed at being a family event, with runners from all walks of life coming to be part of the race.

“It’s one of only two ultramarathons in the Eastern Cape, so we felt the need to make it worthwhile,” he said.

“We needed to do something different because we don’t want an event which just has the same runners year after year.”

Besides the ultra, the race, which is a qualifying event for both the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons, will also feature a 21.1km event and a 5km family run.

Racing gets under way at Pollok Beach from 5am for the main race, 6.30am for the half-marathon and 7.15am for the family run.

Schroeder said there was a fiveyear plan to turn the event into a spectacle, bringing more visitors to the Bay.

“The idea is to grow it into a weekend event, and we have already made the first innovation by adding a half-marathon,” he said.

Schroeder said more additions were being looked at for next year, including the possible introduction of trail runs.

Amobia managing director Nicola Smith said the company had a vision of growing the event and bringing more feet into the city.

“It is envisioned that this event will become an iconic event in the city, and ultimately become as popular as other ultra-marathons like the Two Oceans,” she said.

An additional incentive will see the school with the most entries in the 5km race winning one year’s internet subscription, installation and access to Wi-Fi to the value of R15 000.

Prize money will also be up for grabs. For more information, visit the race website at www.bayultra.co.za

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