National mile record-holder Johan Fourie has warned SA’s leading milers about “the final nine metres”, ahead of track and field action at the Yellow Pages Summer Series meetings in Stellenbosch (December 10), Oudtshoorn (December 13), Port Elizabeth (December 15) and Parow (December 18).
Fourie, whose national mile best stands at three minutes 50.82 seconds and set in Port Elizabeth way back in 1987, ran 56 dream miles (sub-four minute performances) during his career and is an authority on what he labeled “his favourite track event”.
ÔÇ£Firstly, the mile is 1609 metres long and runners often forget that last nine metres, which is in fact takes around 1.5 seconds to complete,ÔÇØ said Fourie.
ÔÇ£To run a dream mile, everything needs to be right on the day. The pacemakers mustn’t go out too fast or too slow and the weather needs to be conducive for middle distance racing. Us milers like cool conditions, unlike the sprinters who like hot weather and there must also be as little wind as possible.ÔÇØ
With R5000 up for grabs for the first South African athlete to dip under the four-minute mark in the mile during the Yellow Pages Summer Series, and R1000 for any athlete who goes under 240 seconds thereafter in the same event, fast times are expected.
Add in Stellenbosch stars in Cornell Fredericks (300 metre hurdles) and Janice Josephs (long jump) and Oscar ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius against EP sprinter Leigh Julius over 150 metres, and Stellenbosch’s scenic Coetzenburg Stadium is the place to be on Friday (with the gates opening at 1pm and tickets priced at R25 for adults and R10 for children).
The first 500 spectators through the stadium gates at each of the venues will receive a complimentary Yellow Pages hat.
The De Jager Athletics Stadium in Oudtshoorn on December 13 is expected to be abuzz with excitement when the South Western Districts area gets a dose of the magical Yellow Pages Summer Series next Monday. Gates open at 3pm with an entry fee of R10 per person.
Top-class Yellow Pages Summer Series action will make a turn at the Westbourne Oval in Port Elizabeth on December 15, with R10 entry charge (adults) and scholars allowed to watch at no cost. The stadium gates will open at 2.30pm and with the likes of Wilhelm van der Vyver, Irvette van Blerk, Christine Kalmer, Paul Gorries and Sergio Mullins, Josephs and Fredericks and a host of other top names expected to compete in Oudtshoorn and the Friendly City, family fun-filled sports entertainment is on the cards.
The inaugural edition of the Yellow Pages Summer Series will finish in Parow in Cape Town on December 18 with the Mother City expected to be in a sports-loving holiday mood. The stadium gates open at┬á12.30pm with entry charged at R15 (adults) and R5 (primary school children).