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Athletics | Running

Stephen Mokoka © Getty Images

Top athletes expected at SA half-marathon



Most of the country's elite road runners are likely to be drawn to this month's SA Half-Marathon Championships in East London, Athletics SA (ASA) said on Thursday.

ASA road running chairman James Moloi said the nature of the route and the fact that the race would act as the national trials for next year's World Half-Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, should be enough to attract the top athletes in the country.

"All 17 [ASA] provinces have registered for the race," Moloi said at the launch in Johannesburg.

"The athletes will have a chance to qualify for the World Half-Marathon Championships and it's a nice, fast course, so we'll see a lot of top athletes there."

The race would be incorporated with the 21km mass event at the Legends Marathon, which also included a 68km event and a total prize purse of R1 million across the board.

However, while the first man and woman in the 68km race would receive R100 000, the first runners in the 21km event, incorporating the national half-marathon championships, would get only R15 000.

"I believe we have dropped the ball this year when it comes to prize money, so I hope we can start turning that around with this race," said ASA events manager Morgan Matholeni.

The national championships, initially scheduled to be held in July before it was postponed by ASA, would now be held on September 21.

Both the 21km and 68km races would be open to the public, with entries closing at noon on September 18.



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