It is all system go for the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) half-marathon and 10km provincial championships taking place at the Germiston Stadium on Sunday.
The first road-running event of the year in the country has been sold out and the runners are looking forward to hitting the road for the first time since the lockdown last year.
The championships aim to give elite athletes the chance to compete and prepare for the National 21km Championships scheduled for May 1, and the SA 10km Championships in July.
To satisfy Covid-19 protocols and ensure the safety of both athletes and officials on duty on the day, the two distances will be run at different times, limiting the entire field to 500 runners. The starter’s gun for the men’s half-marathon will go off at 6.30am followed, by the women’s race 15 minutes later. The men’s and women’s 10km races will start at 8am and 8.15am respectively.
The first man and woman to cross the finish line in the half-marathon races will take home R3,000, with R1,500 reserved for the runner-up and the third-place runners taking R500.
In the 10km category, the first man and woman home will pocket R2,000 with second-placed runners taking R1,000 and third-place finishers settling for R500. Olympic-bound marathoner Desmond Mokgobu, who is coached by the four-time Olympian Hendrick Ramaala at Zoo Lake, will use the 21km race as part of his Olympic preparations.
His Zoo Lake training partner Precious Mashele is also on the list of runners that entered the race. Gladwin Mzazi, Phalula twins Lebo and Lebohang, Coolboy Ngamole, Johannes Kekana, Joel Mmone, Ntsindiso Mphakathi, Christian Kalmer, Gerda Steyn, and Sikhumbuzo Seme, the son of the renowned athletics coach Micheal Seme, are some of the big-name runners that confirmed their participation.
“Yes, I am running at the CGA half-marathon and looking forward to the event,” said Mokgobu. Kabelo Melamu who finished in second place at the CGA cross-country championship behind winner Mashele in January said he would use the event to prepare for the SA Senior Track and Field Championships at the University of Pretoria next week.
Melamu of Murray & Roberts will run the men’s 5000m at the SA championships and he is targeting 13:30 at the capital.
“We have been waiting for a road race for too long and it is finally here. I want to use it to prepare for the ASA senior championships next week,” said Melamu.Melamu will do the 10km race and he is targeting a time of 29:10.