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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Massive payday for SA Athletes as Absa RUN YOUR CITY SERIES announces new incentive scheme!

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Michael Meyer struggled to contain his excitement as he told #TheTopRunner about the big payday awaiting South African athletes who make the cut for the 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series. Having returned last year after being called-off in 2020, the series injected some much needed positivity into local athletics as thousands of social runners got to enjoy the pleasure of running a mass participation race together again, while elite athletes sprinted at the chance to earn good prize money again after a lean 18 months.

And if the R15 000 that Precious Mashele pocketed for winning the Durban leg of the 2021 Absa RYC was exciting, then that is a drop in the bucket compared to what local runners could take home if they can run fast eThekwini this year. Today Stillwater Sports who organise the 10km road running series, launched the 2022 SA Elite Athlete Programme which is aimed at providing South African runners with the opportunity to run world class times on South African soil by rewarding them with some truly mouthwatering prize money.

Mashele leading the 2021 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K which he went on to win. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

"At the end of the of the day we want the athletes to be in control of their own destiny. We don't want the athlete to run the event simply because he's invited by the right. We want to create an objective measurement that allows athletes that if they train hard then they get into the races and win prize money and some very strong incentives. We've created it for South African athletes only because we believe part of our mission is to ensure that South African athletes of the 5km and 10km distance are able to perform and run world class times because that's the basis for everything," explained Meyer.

In revealing that the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K has been changed from a 12km to a 10km, the MD of Stillwater Sports explained that the race in the Mother City on 15 May would almost serve as a qualifier for the big event in KwaZulu-Natal on 10 July. “We will kickstart the initiative by inviting the top 30 male and top 30 female athletes on the SA Road Running Performance List to participate in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K. From there the top 30 male and top 30 female finishers will be invited to participate in the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K."

And Durban is where there's money to be made thanks to the introduction of a new a time-based incentive scheme that will see runners rewarded on a sliding scale. This means that aside from the R690 000 (R230 000 at each race) total prize money on offer for athletes who finish inside the top 15, speedsters can win up to R250 000 in additional monies based on how fast they run - regardless of position. For example any man who can dip under 27 minutes will earn another quarter of a million over and above the R30 000 on offer for winning the race.

"Our incentives are very carefully thought through. We wanna encourage both quality and quantity. When I say quantity, we wanna have as many male athletes running under 30 minutes as we can. So everybody that runs faster than 30 minutes will earn an incentive with more over the faster times of course. So we want Precious and Stephen (Mokoka) and Elroy (Gelant) and all the other South Africans to run under 28 minutes and on the women's side we want to approach the 31 minute mark. If the men run 27:40 they earn R140 000. And regardless of your position, if you run fast you're gonna earn the money. It's a considerable amount of money and so we really believe in putting the athletes first," he concluded.

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