Free lodg­ings for needy run­ners in Soweto marathon

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - Sport - NEVILLE KHOZA nevillek@the­newage.co.za

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 run- ners 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.

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