Free lodgings for needy runners in Soweto marathon
FINANCIALLY disadvantaged runners, who have in the past struggled to find accommodation during the Old Mutual Soweto marathon, will now have an athlete’s village set up for them at the Morris Isaacson High School.
This was revealed by race director Danny Blumberg who said that runners who didn’t have a place to stay the night before would be able to sleep at the school.
The marathon is set to start and finish at the FNB stadium on November 5.
“Over the years, the Old Mutual Soweto marathon has attracted runners from all over the world.
“We have realised that a certain percentage of runners are unable to pay for accommodation due to economic reasons,” Blumberg said.
“Many of these runners come from a disadvantaged background and, to reduce the burden, the organisers will be providing accommodation to the first 600 successful applicants.”
Firstly, runners should be unemployed and should be registered with an athletic club affiliated to Athletics South Africa.
They must also be able to be at the FNB Stadium a day before the race – on November 4.
Runners must be registered for the race in order to qualify for this benefit and be able to produce their race number.
Meals and transport will be provided free of charge to successful applicants, Blumberg said.
Race organisers also said that they will provide more water stations.
“We will put in place 17 water stations this year,” Blumberg said.
“The runners must be properly hydrated because it is quite hot at this time of year.”
Defending champion Sintayehu Yinesu will be looking to defend his title and make it four wins out of four on race day.
Meanwhile, thousands of runners are expected to line up the streets of Pretoria in the Jacaranda SABS marathon tomorrow.
FULLY PREPARED: Defending champion Sintayehu Yinesu.