Top stars tackle Cape Town race

The Herald (South Africa) - - CLUB SPORT - Mo­gan Se­ga­da­van

LO­CAL road­run­ning stars Me­likhaya Frans and Ntombesinthu Mfunzi are hop­ing for a podium fin­ish in the San­lam Cape Town Marathon on Sun­day.

The Gold La­bel race car­ries a win­ner’s purse of R265 000 for both men and women.

To qual­ify for Gold La­bel status, or­gan­is­ers have to in­vite ath­letes from at least five coun­tries who have a fin­ish­ing time of un­der 2:10:00 for men and 2:28 for women.

While Mfunzi has run three marathons, Frans, who holds the na­tional 30km record of 1:30:54 set ear­lier this year, will be en­ter­ing un­charted wa­ters as he makes his de­but.

The course record for men of 2:08:41 was set by Ethiopian Asefa Negewo last year.

The women’s record of 2:30.20, set in 2015, is held by Kenyan Is­abella Ochichi.

Both EP run­ners have been seeded for the race.

The event will also in­clude a 10km peace run, 12km and 22km peace trail runs and a 4.2km fun run. Or­gan­is­ers are hop­ing to at­tract a field of 25 000 en­trants.

For­mer Spring­bok rugby cap­tain Fran­cois Pien­aar, who to­gether with marathon leg­end

Elana van Zyl Meyer, is a brand am­bas­sador, said the plan was to put the event on a par with the iconic Lon­don, New York and Bos­ton races.

Pien­aar will be run­ning in the Cap­tain’s Chal­lenge Marathon to­mor­row in a field which will in­clude Graeme Smith, John Smit, Lu­cas Radebe and for­mer PE res­i­dent and na­tional netball cap­tain Zanele Mdo­dana.

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