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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Durban International Marathon organisers announce cash incentives for fast times

In a quest to be among South African fastest marathons on the African continent, organizers of the Durban International Marathon have announced time incentives to motivate runners to produce lightning fast times. Entering its fourth edition in 2024, the race which incorporates the South African Marathon Championships and the CAA Southern Region five Championships too is scheduled for the 28th of April. Boasting a flat course and good weather conditions in Durban in Autumn, organizers are optimistic that runners will take advantage of those factors and qualify for the Olympic Games which take place in the French capital, Paris later this year.

Mkasi announcing the time incentives and ranking points that will be up for grabs during the fourth edition of the Durban International Marathon. Photo Credit: Durban International Marathon.

To mark 30 days before the race, a media briefing was held at the iconic Riverside Hotel in Durban on Tuesday 26 March, where organizers announced that the winner (male and female) will pocket a total of R75 000. Moreover, if the winner manages to better the course record ( 2:10:11 set by Tebello Ramakongona last year and 2:30:11 by Annie Bothma also last year), then they will run away with even more money.

"We will award the winner with R2500 if the record is beaten by a minimum of 30 seconds. Bettering it by between 31-60 seconds will see the runner claim R5000. Up to 90 seconds will be a R10 000 bonus. If the winner improves on the record by two minutes they will receive R20 000. R30 000 will be paid if they go faster than the previous record by three minutes," said Steve Mkasi, the Race and Local Organizing Committee chairperson.

In a bid to make sure that the race is fast, two East African elite athletes were announced during yesterday's press conference. 33-year-old Tigabu Gebramariam of Ethiopia with a lifetime best time of 2:10:15 achieved in 2020 Dubai Marathon will be accompanied by Kenyan Bernard Rotich who has 2:10:18 personal best time. With former winners Tebello Ramakongoana of Lesotho and Isaac Mpofu of Zimbabwe having used the Durban International Marathon as a stepping stone to international success, Mkasi believes that the race remains a good platform tor runners aiming to tale their careers to great heights.

Ramakongoana winning the 2023 Durban International Marathon in a new course record before going to claim fourth place at the2023 World Championships. Photo Credit: Durban International Marathon.

"We see ourselves as the launching pads for the upcoming athletes to showcase their talent to the world. You must remember that Mpofu won this race then ended up going to Valencia Marathon where he ran 2:06 then Tebello came from this race till he was placed fourth in 2023 World Championship. Plus he recently ran a good time in Japan (Osaka Marathon) to qualify for the Olympics. So it shows we are giving athletes hope to shine for the future," said Mkasi. 

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