Runners to cash in as Durban International Marathon organizers add more incentives
Updated: Feb 10
With just about a month to go to race day, preparations for the third edition of the Durban International Marathon are well underway. The 2023 race which takes place on 12 March will set off from Isipingo Prospection to finish at the Moses Mabhida people's park. Bolstered by a flat route, this year's event which incorporates the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Marathon Championships carries a R50 000 prize purse for the winner in both male and female categories.
Race organizers have also set aside an inviting US $10 000 for any runner that can clock the qualifying standard and book that elusive ticket to the World Championships or the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. This means that men will have to run 2:08:10 while women must produce 2:26:50. On top of that ASA has made a promise to hand over a cheque of R100 000 to any man or woman who can break the SA record which stands at 2:06:33 and 2:25:28 respectively. Speaking at the media briefing at the Riverside Hotel this morning, race director Sihle Shange believes that the race has the perfect conditions to produce fast times on home soil.
"We are adamant that the race has what it takes to be one of the best in the country. Looking at the route, I'm certain that if athletes assembled on the day provide good performances then we are going to witness history," Shange emphasized. "To make fast times achievable, we have assembled a couple of athletes who are going to be pacesetters. One of the notable names is Adam Lipschitz, who is well-known in local running circles. Our pacesetters will run until the 30km mark."
KwaZulu-Natal Athletics ( KZNA) president Steve Mkasi echoed Shange's sentiments saying the race is of a higher calibre and will bring together the country's best marathoners to compete for top honours. "The race is one of the special kind that as the province will host. It is a World Athletics label event so athletes will earn ranking points there. Plus top athletes are coming to race. That is huge by all standards and hope fast times will be produced," he said.
Given that Zimbabwe's Isaac Mpofu ran 2:10:24 during last year's race to qualify for the World Championships, The City of Ethekwini certainly has the right terrain to deliver a world class marathon. And testament to the fireworks that are expected is the lineup of elite athletes that the race orgnizers have been already able to secure. Some of those that have confirmed their participation are Samuel Kiplimo, who holds a 2:09:41 personal best. In the women's field, Kenyan Sheila Chepkoech (2:27:04) will also grace the streets of Durban. The race is also open to social runners with a target of 10 000 for the 42km and 5 000 entries available for the 10km. Entries close on 5 March, 2023.