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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'Be prepared for a tough course' - Diepkloof Half Marathon perfect Soweto Marathon training run

As one of the oldest township races, the Diepkloof Half Marathon which had become a feature of the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) road running calendar is back for the first time since 2019. Taking place two weeks before the African Bank Soweto Marathon, the 21km race is billed as the perfect preparation for The People's Race because part of its route coincides with that of the Soweto Marathon.

Mapaseka Makhanya seen here during the Rand Water Vaal River City Marathon will take on the Diepkloof Half Marathon on Sunday. Photo Credit: Supplied.

"The race is back after a long break, mainly because of Covid-19," explained the race organisers in the buildup to the race which takes place on Sunday 22 October at the Diepkloof Hall in Soweto. "The entire race is run through the Soweto suburb of Diepkloof. It is an enjoyable route which is run exclusively through the different neighbourhoods of Diepkloof and is perfect for runners and walkers."

While walkers are encouraged to take on the 10km and 5km fun run, runners looking for a last tune up before the Soweto Marathon are encouraged to try the half marathon. One of those that will be lining up at 6am on Sunday morning is Mapaseka Makhanya, a Sowetan who claimed second place during the 2017 edition of the Soweto Marathon. She says this is the perfect race to test your Soweto fitness.

Members of the Diepkloof Athletic Club test the hilly route. Photo Credit: MWMedia.

"Yes, I’m running on Sunday and the goal is 4min/km but I’m conflicted into running fast because this is my club race and I want to represent well. I believe the route is tough because Diepkloof and Orlando are hilly townships in Soweto. I hope 4min/km gets me a podium finish," said the top runner who has represented South Africa at the World Championships and now runs for the host club Diepkloof Athletics Club.

The winner of the 2013 SPAR Grand Prix also has some advice for novices tackling the race for the first time. "The route is more or less like the Soweto marathon, be prepared for a tough course and this should be part of your training run, it’s long enough but also short enough to see your fitness level. Set yourself a target time and stick to your race plan and that’s how you will conquer both races in Soweto."

Thousands of runners in attendance at the start of the 2018 Diepkloof Half Marathon. Photo Credit: MWMedia.

Click HERE to take part in this race which goes back almost 20 years. Manual registration is available at the Diepkloof Hall and the Orlando Community Hall from 12 noon to 6pm on Friday 20 October and Saturday 21 October as well as at the race venue (Diepkloof Hall) from 4am on race day (Sunday 22 October).

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