Township Marathon running through Eldorado Park, Eldos

Runners bursting from the starting line at last year's race.

Marathon runners are lacing up their running shoes in preparation for the 22nd annual Township Marathon  this year. The marathon is set to take place on February at the Eldorado Park Stadium in Cumming Road.

With a whopping R50 490 in prize monies up for grabs, the early start time of 630am means that participants will need to set their alarm clocks early and be at the stadium on time to ensure that the marathon runs smoothly.

The Township Marathon will incorporate a 10 kilometre Walk League under the auspices of the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) association and the race is also a qualifier for the Comrades and Two Oceans Marathons for runners who harbour ambitions to run in these prestigious events.

The event is divided into five categories comprised of : Marathon; Half-Marathon; 10 kilometre run; 10 kilometre walk and a 4 kilometre run or walk. Joe Morris, race director and trustee for the Soweto Marathon and recipient of the presidential lifetime achievement award for his dedication to athletics, bemoans the fact that athletics in the township receives little to no recognition and urges residents to support the event.

He says, “To date, there are only two marathons hosted by township clubs and these are the Soweto Marathon and the Township Marathon. We have received little to no support from the White running fraternity with regards to township athletics.”

The race is supported by CGA, Athletics South Africa and the City of Johannesburg and is described as a ‘fast two lap course’ starting in Cumming Road next to house number 70, proceeding onto the Main Road, Union Road and into Klipspruit West, culminating at the Eldorado Park Stadium.

Entry forms may be downloaded at www. eldosfm.co.za, or hand delivered entries may Township Marathon running through Eldorado Park be submitted at The Sweat Shop in Fourways, Southdowns Shopping Centre, The Sweat Shop at the Dunkeld West Centre along Jan Smuts Avenue and at the Bedfordview branch as well as the Orlando Community Hall in Soweto, Central Gauteng Athletics in Germiston and the Randburg Runner, on the corner of 5th Street and 4th Avenue in Randburg.

Entries close on February 20 and other entries may be submitted at all CGA road races. The organisers, Joe Morris, Gerhard van Wyk, Sidney de Jongh, Cremilda Bennet and Jeff van Rooyen are appealing to the community to come out in support of the race which is hailed as the biggest marathon of its kind next to the Soweto marathon.

See also: Leaders challenged to run for the greater good

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