PE’s Kingston all set for first Youth Day race on Saturday

Liza Kingston
Liza Kingston
Image: Werner Hills

Top Port Elizabeth runner Liza Kingston will be chasing a good finish at the inaugural Youth Run event taking place on Saturday, at Kings Beach in Humewood.

The race, which is hosted by Ikhamva Athletics Club and Nedbank Running Club, will start and finish at Kings Beach, with the 10km race starting at 7am and the 5km event 10 minutes later.

The race is sponsored by the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

With R31 750 in prize money up for grabs in the 10km, the event has already attracted the big names in road-running circles.

The men’s and women’s winners will each bag R8 000, while second place takes home R4 000 and third R2 500.

Kingston, 36, of Nedbank Running Club, said she would use Saturday’s race as part of her build-up for the Knysna Marathon taking place early next month.

“My preparations are going well. I am actually preparing for the Knysna half-marathon,” Kingston said.

“I took part in the Eastern Province Champs half-marathon two weeks ago here in PE and that went very well.

“So, I am just doing this race on Saturday for some speed work in preparation for the Knysna half.

“I am quite excited about the race. I saw it on the race calendar and I saw it was a new event.

“I was like, I need to take part in this one, especially as it is on a public holiday and it’s for the youth.

“I am really hoping that it is well supported. We have a beautiful city here and it’s from Kings Beach, which is also a lovely venue.

“The route is amazing so it should attract many runners, because it’s not too difficult.

“The only bad thing is the wind – it’s looking very hectic,” she said.

“I would like to have the strongest race that I can have.

“It all depends on who is racing. Ntombesintu Mfunzi is very strong and she should take the race easily.

“It will depend on who comes. But I would like to at least place in the top five or top three in my age-group.”

Director of sport development at the department, Bafundi Makubalo, said the it had plans to make the race an annual event.

“June is youth month and among the activities we must encourage the youth to be involved in is sport.

“Our reason to agree to work with the race organisers is because the event talks to our mandate, which is to make sure people get into sport participation.

“So, the whole idea is to increase participation in sport while at the same time we will also be identifying talent that in future will advance to a higher level.

“Our intention is for the race to be run annually, but we are still going to mobilise other partners to come on board,” he said.