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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Mbambani excited that PE has been chosen to host Nedbank's 50km World Record attempt

Eastern Province Athletics (EPA) sponsorship manager Mike Mbambani is excited to host an attempt on the 50km word record on the 23rd of May in Port Elizabeth. The race which is the brainchild of the Nedbank Running Club will feature some of the most exciting names in South African ultra marathon running including 2019 Comrades Marathon winner Edward Mothibi, former world 50km champion Colleen Makaza and Comrades gold medalist Prodigal Khumalo.

Port Elizabeth has an excellent track record in hosting top class races as seen here when EPA hosted the 2018 ASA Half Marathon Championships. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

In all, a total of 120 top runners have been invited to complete the mouth-watering field which has been limited because the race is being run under Covid 19 restrictions. Mbambani is delighted with the upcoming race and believes the province has a proven track record in hosting fast top class events.

"I'm thrilled at seeing a race like this being hosted by our province," said an elated Mbambani. "Before the pandemic hit us we were hosting races weekly, so we are very capable of delivering good results. Remember, we are rated as amongst the top four federations in the country when it comes to hosting good events so we are looking forward to delivering. Look at how the SA Half Marathon Championships have grown in the past five years due to the support we are getting from our people across the province. I'm thankful to Nick Bester for trusting us with this race," he said.

"We are hoping to have a similar race for the next three years," said Mbambani, who also coaches SA 30km record holder Melikhaya Frans. "This is supposed to be an annual event but with Nedbank, we only have a year deal. But we looking to have a race like this for the next three years. It's possible if the sponsors trust us with the money. And we must be thankful to Port Elizabeth Metro for injecting the funds into the project too," he explained.

Mbambani (right) and Bester pose for a photo in Port Elizabeth after discussing the race. Photo Credit: Mike Mbambani.

Nedbank Running Club national manager Nick Bester is excited to see events coming back after the sport was halted by Covid 19 last year. He is looking forward to race day and believes that the the assembled field is capable of breaking Thompson Magwana's 23-year old record (2:43:38). "We're excited about bringing running events to life in 2021 and see the hard work and effort of our runners pay off in this thrilling race. We are looking forward to runners breaking barriers and world records,’ added Bester.

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