Top stars tackle Cape Town race
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.