Roro and Hall are fron­trun­ners to re­tain Winelands Marathon ti­tles

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - STEPHEN GRANGER

ONE of the Cape’s old­est road races will get un­der­way in Stel­len­bosch early this morn­ing, with the 38th run­ning of the Vi­tal Winelands Marathon through the vine­yards and straw­berry fields be­tween Stel- len­bosch and Som­er­set West.

The Winelands Half Marathon, ap­pro­pri­ately this year ex­actly half the age of the orig­i­nal marathon in its 19th edi­tion, was ex­pected to fill the streets with mass move­ment and colour.

Be­gin­ning with a loop through his­toric Stel­len­bosch, the route takes par­tic­i­pants out of the town and past Spier Wine Farm, be­fore turn­ing left into Annandale Road. Run­ners then fol­low an out and back loop along the R44 be­fore fin­ish­ing at the Eikestad Pri­mary School in Stel­len­bosch.

The list of past race win­ners boasts some of South Africa’s best ever marathon­ers, in­clud­ing Johnny Hal­ber­stadt (in­au­gu­ral win­ner in 1978), Vin­cent Rak­abaele, Thomp­son Ma­gawana and Wil­lie Afrika. The open records are held by Mluleki Nobanda ( 2: 18: 47 in 1996) and Isavel Roche-Kelly (2:42:27 in 1980).

Last year’s win­ners, Wanda Roro and Candyce Hall are ex­pected to de­fend their ti­tles, while strong SA De­fence Force provin­cial teams are likely to pose a threat.

Mean­while, two high-pro­file road races open for en­tries this week­end.

The third and fi­nal wave of on­line en­tries for the Old Mu­tual Two Oceans Half Marathon opens at 10am to­day, while en­tries for the FNB Cape Town ONERUN 12km go on sale tomorrow.

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