The Runified City 50km event which will start and finish at Pollock Beach, Summerstrand on Sunday, 25 February, will be open to all this year and will be an official Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon qualifier.
An added incentive for entrants is that there will also be an official 42,2km timing mat which runners will also be allowed to use to submit as a qualifier. Transport back to the 50km finish line will be arranged for those athletes who finish on the 42.2km mark.
This event, which is organised by EP Athletics in partnership with Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, has also added a 10km race and for the first time this event will incorporate the Athletics South Africa 50km national championships, with athletes from around the country expecting to compete with the honor of being crowned national champion. Not only is this a first for the event in Gqeberha, but it is also the first time that the 50km distance qualifies for an official national championship.
The flat and fast 50km route is the perfect opportunity to use as a qualifier for the Two Oceans and Comrades Marathons and for competitive athletes to achieve their personal best times.
The 50km route starts at Pollock Beach and heads towards Kings Beach, Humewood for the first turn then back to just beyond the Humewood Golf Course to turn and return past the start towards Kings Beach for final turn before heading back to the finish.
“As long as the weather plays along, we are expecting some very fast times on this flat course which is a mildly rolling route on the out and back with a high of around 25m and low of 3m,” said Norrie Williamson, World Athletics A grade course measurer and technical delegate.
“This event could well become the most popular qualifying 50km race in the country due to its perfect timing prior to the Comrades marathon.
“Athletes need to finish the marathon in five hours and the 50km in 06:30 to qualify for Two Oceans Marathon, and they need to finish the marathon in 4:50 (6:53min per km) and the 50km in 5:50 (7 min per km) to qualify for Comrades Marathon.
“So the advantage of the 50km is the slower pace required for qualification and seeding,” explained Williamson.
This year local athletes will be able to pick a pacing bus that will lead them to their personal best finish goal for the Runified City 50km.
Both the 50km and 10km will start and finish at Pollock Beach, Summerstrand on Sunday, 25 February.
Athletes will be able to pick a bus that suits their race finish time goal for the 50km, with pacing buses arranged for sub 5hr, sub 5h30min, sub 6hr and sub 6h30min, the qualifying finish time for Comrades Marathon.
Local athletes will have the opportunity to be led by East London’s Mkhululi Jack will lead the sub 5hr bus, Jabulani Dube and David Mama will lead the sub 5hr30 bus, Mkokeli Malghas will lead the sub 6hr bus.
The only female bus pacer, Nosita Nqwataand, will lead the sub 6h30 bus.
The closing date for online entries is Sunday, February 18, however for elite contenders, all entries and applications will have to be done by Friday, February 16.
Collection of race numbers as well as late entries will be available on Saturday, February 24, from the Marine Hotel between 09:00 and 20:00. Race number collection will also be available from the Marine Hotel from 04.00 – 05.15 on race day for the 50km and from 05.15 - 06.30 for the 10km. No late entries will be taken on race day under any conditions.
Hosted by the Nedbank running club, the event will once again enjoy live TV coverage on race day from SuperSport with the 50km setting off at 05:30 and the 10km following at 06:45.
For more information athletes can contact Michael Mbambani on 079 149 6796, Irene van Eeden on 083 299 1775, EP Athletics office on 041 374 2818 or email email@example.com