The Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K has already produced the fastest time ever run on South African soil, and this year’s frontrunners delivered another scintillating race. – By Sean Falconer and Jacky McClean
Registration for Thembisa’s premier road running event, the Thembisa Mile taking place on Sunday, 29 October 2023 is OPEN. The race comprises of a street Mile (1609m), and a 10km run for the masses. The race will start and finish at the Moses Molelekwa Arts Centre next to the Makhulong Stadium.
Entries are available online at www.thembisamile.co.za
Entries will close at midnight on Sunday, 22 October 2023, or when the maximum race capacity has been reached. The race is open to a total of 3000 participants, with 2500 entries available for the 10km road race and 500 for the 1 Mile Road Race.
The registration fee for the 10km is R150 for ASA-licensed athletes, while unlicensed athletes will pay an additional R60 for a temporary license. The registration fee for the 1 Mile Race is R50 for ASA-licensed athletes, with unlicensed athletes paying an additional R20 for a temporary license. The registration fee excludes the online service fee administered by the service provider.
Participants will be able to collect their race numbers at the Race Expo which will be held from 27 to 29 October at the race venue.
For the elite runners, the race offers a total prize purse of R100 000 (hundred thousand Rand). The men’s and women’s 10km winners will each take home R5000, while the invitational Mile winners will each take home R4000 each. SPAR Vouchers will be given to the top three boys and girls in the U-10, U- 13, and U – 15 age group categories for the 1 Mile Race.
All registered finishers will receive bronze medals, while category winners will earn gold medals.
Discovery Vitality members can earn 600 vitality points for completing the 10km race.
The race is run through the two main streets of Thembisa namely; RTJ Namane Drive and Andrew Mapheto Drive.
The race is made possible by the following sponsors and partners; SPAR North Rand, City of Ekurhuleni Sports and Recreation Division, Vision View TV, Lenmed Zamokuhle Private Hospital, The Thembisan, Move the Nation, Central Gauteng Athletics and Thembisa Athletics Club.
The race will be streamed live on the Vision View TV app.
Event Dairy details:
Date: Sunday, 29 October 2023
Enter online: www.thembisamile.co.za
Entry Fee (excluding online service fee): R10k = R150, 1 Mile = R50.
The temporary license fee is R60 for 10km and R20 for 1 Mile.
Late registration: R170 for 10km and R60 for 1 Mile.
Move The Nation, an organisation that seeks to foster a culture of running and healthy living in South Africa, is back in 2023 with a new event, The Impact Run! Designed to get you up and moving, the ethos behind the race is to bring health to the forefront and make it a priority for all, which is something that we at Modern Athlete can get fully behind!
To understand more about the race we chat with well-known runner, and co-founder of Move the Nation, Peteni Kuzwayo.
He explains that the messaging behind the organisation is to encourage people to move forward, in health and in life. Both he and his business partner, Kabelo Mabalane believe, exercises like running are crucial to this.
The more we move and get better conditioned, the more we become crucial assets to ourselves (wellness) and acquire greater individual agency to contribute. Impact Run is a dedicated calendar day paying tribute to those that have chosen movement, future fit choices, and contribution to society using the unique (rare and novel) opportunity of running through the streets of Sandton – the Richest Square Mile in Africa – to create collective Impact!
So if you too believe that running or walking is the next step for you, you are invited to join!
Happening on the 5th of August at Wanderers Stadium, this race’s ethos is about creating an Impact through our favourite form of movement, running! This race is all about wellness, both in how we move, and our mental health when we don’t. Whether you are a walker, a runner, or just someone who loves following those who do, this event is all about embracing the wellness journey!
Offering 21km, 10km and 5km options there is a distance for everyone… whether you are just starting out, or looking for your next challenge to step up to, or gunning for a new best, this race has something for everyone. And there will be plenty to look forward to after your run or walk, too, as DJ Zinhle hits the decks . This is one party you don’t want to miss!
There are two ways to enter the 2023 Impact Run, either as an individual runner or as a team of four!
Entry Fees: (Teams of 4):
- 21km: R275 per team member.
- 10km: R225 per team member.
- 5km: R175 per team member.
Entry Fees: (Individual)
- 21km: R275
- 10km: R225
- 5km: R175
And there is an AMAZING Prize up for Grabs
If you fancy a holiday for you and three of your running mates, listen up: One team of four stands the chance of winning a trip to Ibiza to run the Ibiza Marathon, Half or 12km! Each of you will have the opportunity to take in all that the incredible Ibiza Race Tour has to offer, on the sunny Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea, with a a trip valued at R40,000! All you need to do is get your teammates together and enter the Impact Run!
First it was cancelled, then it was on again… this has been the yo-yo experience for the running community today as news broke about the Soweto Marathon. As a long-term media partner to the race, Modern Athlete got in touch with the ‘right’ people to get to the bottom of what is really going on.
On Wednesday morning, we woke to the news that the 2023 Soweto Marathon had been cancelled due to an ongoing dispute regarding the broadcast rights for the race, and the funding received for these rights. Thankfully, a few hours later news broke that the 28th edition of the event known as the People’s Race will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday 5 November.
The original media release announcing the cancellation of the race was apparently issued on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, and quoted Soweto Marathon Trust (SMT) Chairman Sello Khunou directly, so it appeared to have been issued by the SMT. This media release laid the blame for the cancellation squarely at the feet of Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA).
However, according to a statement released today by provincial athletics body, Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA), Khunou as well as General Secretary Ishe Sadiki and Board Member Pamela Tainton had already been suspended by the provincial federation the previous week, for bringing the sport into disrepute, and they each face a potential two-year suspension from all athletics activities, subject to a disciplinary and appeal process. The original press release therefore appears to have been released following their suspension.
Furthermore, on Sunday 18 June, CGA met with 15 of the 17 Soweto athletics clubs that make up the SMT, to ensure that the race will be hosted successfully following the suspension of the above Trust members. According to CGA, the clubs welcomed the suspension of the three members and indicated to CGA that the race must take place in 2023. Note: The Soweto athletics clubs are the beneficiaries of the Soweto Marathon, and both the event and these Soweto clubs are affiliated to CGA, and through the provincial federation, also to Athletics South Africa (ASA).
Getting Back on Track
When asked about the unfortunate turn of events, newly elected SMT Board Member Thokozani Mazibuko said, “This is not what we as the Soweto Marathon Trust wanted or expected. Our focus is to find a solution to the problem and get the 2023 People’s Race on track. The sudden announcement of cancellation from disgruntled members created panic and was completely unnecessary.”
He added that the Trust, the Board, and the relevant athletics bodies are all committed to ensuring the race happens, saying, “Our message to the runners planning on tackling the Soweto Marathon in November is that our 2023 edition is happening, and we can’t wait to welcome you to the streets of Soweto.”
We also spoke to long-standing Race Director, Danny Blumberg, and he assured us that while the opening of entries has been delayed due to these internal issues, this is in no way holding up the organisation of the 2023 edition of the race. “My team is working hard in the background to ensure that when we are able to open entries, everything will be on track to make sure that this edition of the People’s Race is as good as runners expect it to be,” he said.
The Soweto Marathon has been a much-loved fixture on the running calendar for nearly three decades, and we look forward to bringing you all the news, including the opening date for entries, expected to be announced soon!
- 70 000 runners are expected as the SPAR Women’s Challenge returns to capacity after the Covid restrictions
- Exciting changes to the prize money structure add new incentives for local athletes
The SPAR Women’s Challenge series is back with a bang and changes to the rules and prizes in the associated SPAR Grand Prix offer local runners massive new financial incentives.
For the first time since 2019, the SPAR Women’s Challenge races will be open to thousands of women in each of the six cities nationwide.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no races were run in 2020. In 2021, SPAR came to the rescue of the elite runners by hosting six races in a limited format. This was done in accordance with Covid-19 protocols giving the top runners an opportunity to compete and to earn money.
Social runners were able to take part in a SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge, running on their own and sharing their experiences online.
In 2022, the six races were spread out over six months, but numbers remained limited, with social runners once again taking part in a Virtual Challenge.
The 2023 SPAR Women’s Challenge will return to its original format and will again be open to thousands of women runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The popular 5km Fun Run is back and will be staged alongside the classic SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge, which incorporates the prestigious SPAR Grand Prix.
Former SPAR Grand Prix winner, Kesa Molotsane, is thrilled that the races are once again open to all. “The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge was a brilliant idea, but there is nothing quite like a real SPAR Women’s Challenge event,’ she said. ‘It’s so exciting to encounter the different cultures and personalities at these races. We were very grateful to SPAR that we were able to compete during the pandemic, but I think we all missed the festive atmosphere that always surrounds the SPAR Women’s Challenges.”
Kesa added, “I am looking forward to seeing new, exciting talent that always emerges every year. There may have been runners who couldn’t run in the restricted races but now have the chance to show what they can do.”
SPAR Group’s National Sponsorship and Events Manager, Charlene Subbarayan, is also delighted that the SPAR Women’s Challenges will once again involve thousands of women. “SPAR is all about promoting healthy living and good health means a healthy lifestyle so what better way, than to get everyone out in the open air, training for the SPAR Women’s Challenge series. The SPAR Women’s Challenge offers us a way of thanking our customers by providing them with a day of fun and entertainment, with plenty of spot prizes at all the races,” she said.
“We are so happy that we can once again welcome thousands of women of all ages to our 10km races and 5km Fun Runs. Our target national entry is 70 000 women in 2023,” added Subbarayan.
The President of Athletics South Africa (ASA), James Moloi, said the SPAR Women’s Challenge series is an important part of the South African athletics calendar. “Many women get a taste for running after training to take part in these unique women-only races. The SPAR Grand Prix races also offer the elite runners an opportunity to test themselves and the presence of international athletes, who are drawn to the race by the lucrative prize money. This has spurred our domestic runners to improve their times,” he said.
In the SPAR Grand Prix, there are several exciting developments. In recent years, the dominance of athletes from Ethiopia and Namibia has made it difficult for the South Africans to earn the top prizes. This year, local athletes will win prizes in addition to the overall prize pool. In the 6 races, the first 2 South Africans across the finish line will win R10 000 and R5 000 respectively. They are eligible to collect the overall prizes as well, starting at R30 000 for a win, R25 000 for second place and R21 000 for third.
The prize pool for the overall SPAR Grand Prix has been similarly structured. The winner will receive R200 000, second place R100 000 and the prizes go down to tenth place. This year there will also be a separate ‘competition within a competition’ for South African athletes, with the 5 top local runners taking home a total of R185 000 in addition to the money they win in the overall SPAR Grand Prix. First place will score a handsome R75 000.
The total prize purse across the SPAR Grand Prix is now R1.9 million, 14% up on 2022.
Another important change comes in the number of races to count for the final points table. In previous years, the total points scored by an athlete over the 6 races counted. This, however, placed runners who had to miss 1 or 2 races because of international commitments or injury at a disadvantage. This year, a runner’s four best performances in the SPAR Grand Prix races will count for points. This means that a runner can miss two races and still be competitive.
The SPAR Women’s Challenge series incorporating the SPAR Grand Prix 10km races will be held in Cape Town, Gqeberha, Durban, Mbombela, Tshwane and Johannesburg.
Cape Town – Sunday, 23 April 2023 – Green Point Common
Gqeberha – Saturday, 27 May 2023 – Pollok Beach, Summerstrand
Durban – Sunday, 25 June 2023 – Kings Park Stadium
Mbombela – Saturday, 15 July 2023 – Mbombela Stadium
Tshwane – Saturday, 5 August 2023 – SuperSport Park
Joburg – Sunday, 1 October 2023 – Marks Park Sporting Club
Last year, emerging star Tayla Kavanagh claimed the national title over 10km, now she is plotting a course to become just the fourth SA women to break the 32-minute barrier. – By Sean Falconer
Having surpassed the 16 000 entry mark, the 27th edition of the Soweto Marathon is now this year’s biggest one day
Soweto Marathon Trust Chairman, Sello Khunou takes tremendous pride from this achievement, and is grateful to all
those who have entered; “There is no denying that Covid put all events in jeopardy of shutting down. Through tremendous dedication, we are proud to host the 27th event and endeavour to do so to the high standards that our fans have come to expect. This latest achievement is a testament to our loyal fans entering once more – we absolutely cannot wait to have them back come 6 November. And to those who will be running for the first time: We welcome you and wish you a great race in South Africa’s biggest one-day race this year!”
There is Still Time To Enter!
After numerous calls from athletes requesting an extension of the race entry cut-off date, Soweto Marathon organisers heeded the call and so the extension was granted due to public demand. The 27th edition of The People’s Race has made the bold move to extend the closing date of entries in order to allow participants to enter their chosen distance of 10km, 21.1km, or 42.2km.
Entries will remain open until the entry cap is reached, so says Soweto Marathon Trust Chairman Sello Khunou;
“We understand the pressures that our valued runners are under – and as such we are allowing them to enter to participate in their beloved People’s Race. We take note too of their recent participation in other races and know that once the athletes have recovered adequately, they’ll be wanting to hit the streets once more! The Soweto Marathon promises to deliver another top event and I strongly encourage runners from all walks of life to enter – let us celebrate our ability to move, our health, our spirit and our beautiful country.”
So if you would like to be part of making history in out post-COVID-19 era, click here to Enter Today!
Option 1: With the T-shirt included
Option 2: Without the T-shirt *
* If you change your mind about the T-shirt, you will still be able to buy one later.
STILL MORE SAVINGS FOR YOU…
Every runner that enters this year’s Soweto Marathon, no matter the distance you choose, will be given an online 20% discount voucher from Totalsports on performance shoes priced R2000 and above. That’s a minimum saving of R400 off your next pair of running shoes!
Taking place on Sunday 6 November 2022, the race route will continue to honour Soweto’s rich history as it takes runners through the tour of Soweto, so says Soweto Marathon Trust Chairman, Sello Khunou;
“We’re delighted to announce that all is on track to host the Soweto Marathon post our two year hiatus. The 27th edition will bring with it a tremendous gratefulness for life as we honour those lost to Covid-19 and all the struggles associated with the pandemic. We also encourage all would be participants who have not vaccinated to do so ahead of the race in November for preservation of all our lives.”
The race will consist of three different distances – the 42.2km standard marathon, the 21.1km half marathon and a 10km run – all of which start and end at the iconic FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Follow Soweto Marathon’s pages for more details
The SPAR Grand Prix has injected life into the women’s elite racing scene in South Africa, with scintillating times being run throughout the series, and one of the South Africans to catch the eye was Glenrose Xaba, who eventually finished third in the 2021 Grand Prix standings. – By Sean Falconer
Tuck into good reads about Glenrose Xaba’s great SPAR results, Stef & Sabrina’s Oyster Catcher father-daughter adventure, the comeback story about Comrades Green Debbie Fass after her hip replacement, a welcome back for sprinter Carina Horn, Mindlo Mdhluli’s journey from learning to swim to ultra triathlete, and Sue Ullyett describes the hard times she went through in coming back from being seriously ill with COVID, PLUS all you need to know about the record-breaking adidas adizero shoe range.