By Lesiba Lekgetho
Marathon runners are preparing for the 22nd annual Township Marathon which is set to take place late February at the Eldorado Park Stadium in Cumming Road, on February 26.
With a whopping R50 490 in prize money up for grabs, the early start time of 6:30am means that participants will need to set their alarm clocks early and be at the stadium on time to ensure that the marathon runs smoothly.
The Township Marathon will incorporate a 10 kilometers Walk League under the auspices of the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) association and the race is also a qualifier for the Comrades and Two Oceans Marathons for runners who harbour ambitions to run in these prestigious events.
The event is divided into five categories comprised of Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10 kilometers run, 10 kilometers walk and 4 kilometers run or walk.
Race director and trustee for the Soweto Marathon and recipient of the presidential lifetime achievement award for his dedication to athletics Joe Morris said the athletics in the township receives little to no recognition and urges residents to support the event.
“There are only two marathons hosted by township clubs and these are the Soweto Marathon and the Township Marathon. We have received little to no support from the White running fraternity with regards to township athletics,” he said.
The race is supported by CGA, Athletics South Africa and the City of Johannesburg and is described as a ‘fast two lap course’ starting in Cumming Road next to house number 70, proceeding onto the Main Road, Union Road and into Klipspruit West, culminating at the Eldorado Park Stadium.
Entry forms may be downloaded at www. eldosfm.co.za, or hand delivered entries may Township Marathon running through Eldorado Park be submitted at The Sweat Shop in Fourways, Southdowns Shopping Centre, The Sweat Shop at the Dunkeld West Centre along Jan Smuts Avenue and at the Bedfordview branch as well as the Orlando Community Hall in Soweto, Central Gauteng Athletics in Germiston and the Randburg Runner, on the corner of 5th Street and 4th Avenue in Randburg.
Entries close on February 20 and other entries may be submitted at all CGA road races. The organisers Joe Morris, Gerhard van Wyk, Sidney de Jongh, CremildaBennet and Jeff van Rooyen are appealing to the community to come out in support of the race which is hailed as the biggest marathon of its kind next to the Soweto marathon.