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Cash lure for speedsters

A juicy financial carrot has been dangled in front of South Africa’s leading road runners in the next few months.

Athletics SA (ASA) have teamed up with the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund to stage the SA half-marathon championships and the national 10km championships in July and August respectively.

The 21.1 kilometre event will be run in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, July 24 and the speedsters will tackle each other over 10km in Paarl on Saturday, August 14.

In Port Elizabeth, the national marks held by Hendrick Ramaala (1hr 7sec set in Kosice, Slovakia on October 4, 1997) and Elana Meyer (1:06.44 clocked in Tokyo, Japan on January 15, 1999) both carry a R50┬á000 prize should the first athlete in the men’s and women’s competitions rewrite the record books.

And, based on last year’s IAAF half marathon Top 50 statistics, the first male SA athlete to dip under 1:00.20 and the first female runner from SA to clock a time faster than 1:09.37, will receive R50┬á000 each.

Besides these exciting incentives, the first male and female athlete in the open category to cross the finish line will collect R5000 each.

The second placed male and female athlete will take home R4000 each respectively, with the bronze medallists each getting R3500.

The flat one-lap course through the streets of Motherwell, in the Friendly City, is expected to be perfectly suited to fast performances.

The day’s programme will consist of 21.1km wheelchair race (7am start), SA Half-marathon Championships (7.15am start), 5km fun run (7.30am start). Prize giving will take place at 10.30am.