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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

R50 000 for 21km title at & R100 000 for the ultra at Prince Mangosuthu 52km

The organizers of the Prince Mangosuthu 52km Ultra-Marathon say their number one priority is looking after athletes. Entering its fifth edition this year after being established in 2019, the race is held in honour of late Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Founder Dr Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi to promote sport in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Run in the northern part of the province between the towns of Dundee and Inquthu, the race has in the past seen several prominent runners taking part including three times Comrades Marathon winner Bongumusa Mthembu as Comrades and Two Oceans Gold Medalist Nkosikhona Mhlakwana to name but a few. 

Entsika Athletic Club's Mphakhathi poses with his winner's cheque after winning the 2023 race. Should he enter this year's race then he will be aiming for a hat-trick of victories. Photo Credit: Prince Mangosuthu 52km.

This year's race is scheduled for the 5th of May and has a whopping R100 000 prize purse on offer, which makes it one of the richest ultra marathons in South Africa. It doesn't end there because the winner of the half-marathon will pocket R50 000. Race director Celi Makhoba believes that the race is perfectly timed for the athlete's needs. 

"I think there are even more reasons for the athletes to choose our race. It is scheduled on the last day (5 May) to use your results to qualify for the Comrades Marathon. Despite being an ultra, it has an affordable R200 entry fee. So it won't dig into the pocket of the athlete," explains Makhoba, who is also a Comrades Marathon board member.

Celi Makhoba, pictured here alongside Charne Bosman at the finish of the Comrades Marathon says they are making every effort to raise the level of the Prince Mangosuthu 52km. Photo Credit: Comrades Marathon Association Media.

"When it comes to the prize money, this can motivate any athlete to win the race. Looking at economic situation in the country at the moment, a lot can be done with money to be won there. Plus it is one of those races which boosts the economy in rural areas. So I expect athletes to come in numbers to enjoy the race," he said.

Makhoba has also applauded the Umzinyathi Municipality for continuing to sponsor the event. "Its not easy to host such events as it needs strong financial backing. However the local municipality has been able to stick with us in order to take the event to the next level. It is good because it also assists local athletes who don't have the financial muscle to travel to races in big cities like Durban. Plus top clubs are allowed to recruit future stars. It is a very good investment and I so wish this year can see even more growth."

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