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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Frans to run Absa Gqeberha 10k as organisers confirm over R1,2 million prize money for 2023 series

When the 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series was unveiled, it captured the imagination of the running community not only because of the big names it would be bringing to race in South Africa but also for the athlete incentive programme that would pay local athletes for running fast times. Maxime Chaumeton for example, made himself R100 000 richer when he finished fourth at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Durban 10k in 27:58 to become the first South African to produce a sub 28 minute 10km clocking on SA soil.

And now that Gqberha and Tshwane have been added to the series that includes Cape Town, Durban and Joburg, even more money is on offer. As an added incentive in 2023 the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series will boast an overall combined prize purse of R1 260 000.00, with each city being allocated R252 000.00. This means that the Top 10 men’s and Top 10 women’s overall categories will each receive R126 000.00. The overall winners of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K (first male and first female) will each take home R30 000.00, with R25 000.00 going to the runners up and R20 000.00 to the third place finishers.

Michael Mbambani (EPA Sponsorship Liaison), Bassie Kamana (MMC), Charmaine Williams (Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Director: Sport & Recreation), Pholushi Malesa (Absa Regional Executive, Everyday Banking Eastern and Southern Cape) and Michael Meyer (Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series) at the official Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K launch function that was hosted at the Gqeberha City Hall today. Photo Credit: Richard Pearce.

"We are thrilled to take the experience of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series to five major cities in 2023, giving more South Africans the opportunity to be part of a world-class event," said Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series. "Our goal is to become the leading 10km road running series in the world and it all starts here. We are excited to announce that the Eastern Cape’s very own Melikhaya Frans will be seen in action at the inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K on Sunday 02 April," Meyer confirmed during today's launch at the Gqeberha City Hall.

In getting the Eastern Province Athletics (EPA) star on board, the fast and flat race will boast the reigning SA half marathon champion - a title he earned when he won the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon in his hometown last June. In order to claim that title, the 32-year-old marathon specialists defeated some more fancied shorter distance specialists. This time around he is in hard training for the Boston Marathon in mid-April saying it would be a major confidence booster to beat some of the world's best 10km athletes before heading to Massachusetts to tackle Heartbreak Hill.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality homeboy Melikhaya Frans in action during the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K in 2022. Frans has confirmed his entry into the inaugural Absa RUN YOUR CITY GQEBERHA 10K on 02 April 2023. PHOTO CREDIT: Action Photo

"All that I know is in April, I will be fit and sharp as an axe because we'll be getting ready for the marathon. The Absa RUN YOUR CITY here in Gqeberha will be important because I'll be running at home so I'll be well prepared to win the race here in South Africa before going to Boston. That title is staying here no matter which athletes they bring," said the Ikhamva Athletics Club top runner who is the holder of a 28:16 10km personal best.

The stage is set then for a memorable event, the final lineup for which is awaited with bated breath. Aside from the elite performers, the Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series enjoyed tremendous support from tens of thousands of social runners and walkers who took part in the three events. If you want to be part of the 2023 Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series which will now also includes Gqeberha and Tshwane then click HERE to enter.

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