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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Prince Mangosuthu Ultra Marathon adds 21km and ups total prize money to over R700 000

As the South African road running calendar returns to normal for the first time since 2019, runners are celebrating as more and more races increase the total prize purse. Organizers of the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi ultra marathon have added a half marathon distance and tagged it with a the whooping prize money of R50 000 for the winner. Previously, the race which takes place in northern KwaZulu-Natal included a 52km distance with a prize purse of R100 000 for top honors and a 10km race where the winner walked away with R5 000. But in 2023, the total prize money on offer for all three distances is now over R700 000. The race is scheduled to take place on the 30th of April is happening between Dundee and Nquthu will now boast one of the richest 21km races in the country.

The Prince Mangosuthu Ultra Marathon is back in 2023 with a half marathon and more prize money. Photo Credit: Prince Mangosuthu Race.

Speaking to #TheTopRunner, at yesterday's official launch which took place at the Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga , race director Celi Makhoba says its time for athletes to lace up their shoes now. "I think it's up to athletes now to show how hungry are they to grab the biggest prize. It's the first time that our province will have a half marathon that pays so much and its good news especially in this current economic climate," said Makhoba, who is also Comrades Marathon board member. In the past recognized ultra runners like Bongumusa Mthembu, Mike Fokoroni and Ntsindiso Mphakathi have taken part and Mkhoba is confident that they will attract some big name top runners once again. "Before, the 52km race had attracted some of the best country's athletes including Nkosikhona Mhlakwana who ended up winning the race in 2021. I'm positive now that the race will have more runners coming especially with the money on offer. It's a good thing for the athletes and I can't wait for the big day," he said.

Nkosikhona Mhlakwana poses with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi after winning the 2021 edition of the 52km race. Photo credit: Prince Mangosuthu Race.

With the entry fee for 52km costing R200 while R150 to run the 21km and R100 for 10km, the race compares well with others around the country where entry fees have skyrocketed since 2020. This is what makes Makhoba adamant that they can expect a large turnout at their event next month. "I think the entry fees are affordable for all distances which is good for the athletes especially as some of them are not working. I'm hoping more runners will come as we intend to put on one of the best races," he said.

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