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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Running Party 10km entries selling fast as Mzansi's top runners take on the mile

Founder and Race Director of the SPAR Thembisa Mile says it's all systems go for the much anticipated Running Party. Celebrating its 10th anniversary on Sunday, the race which took place in Tembisa at Moses Molelekwa Arts Center opposite Makhulong Stadium has grown into one of the country's prominent road running events happening in the townships. Mathipa who started the race as an 8km fun run says he did it because he wanted to give his. community something they could be proud of.

What began as a fun run soon included a blue riband mile race and then eventually grew to incorporate a 10km run targeted at both elite performers and social runners. Even though they're yet to reach their 2022 target of 2 000 participants in both races (mile and 10km), Mathipa is satisfied with the way entries have been selling in the lead up to the big day on 30 October.

Social runners enjoying the Running Party! Photo Credit: SPAR Thembisa Mile.

"Im happy with the entries, especially in the 10km event. Last time I was checked we were close to getting 1 000 entries so it shows that people have responded well. Remember that it is the end of the road running season so most athletes are tired now, so to get these numbers is encouraging. Also, most races have seen numbers dropping after Covid-19. So it is good that some people are keen to enter races happening in the township as they don't get much support," said Mathipa.

While most of those 1 000 participants will enjoy the 10km Running Party, the mile is usually reserved for top runners some of whom have represented South Africa at the highest level. In the past, the race has seen big names athletes like Caster Semenya, Lebogang Phalula, and Johan Cronje taking part. This year, the national 5 000m record holder Elroy Gelant, 3000m SA record holder Jerry Motsau, defending champion and 2019 SA 1 500m Champion Ryan Mphahlele, and reigning SA 800m Champion Prudence Sekgodišo have confirmed their participation in the mile.

Senior women at the start of the 2021 Mile which was won by reigning SA 1500m and 800m champion Prudence Sekgodiso (wearing cap in the centre). Photo Credit: SPAR Thembisa Mile.

"We have big athletes that have confirmed that they will run on Sunday from Gelant, Prudence, and Motsau. So It is good to have these athletes supporting our race and also be a motivation for the upcoming athletes," he concluded.

The online entries close today (Wednesday 26 October) with late manual entries offered till the morning of race day on a first-come-first-served basis. The registration fee for the 10km is R150 for those who have a valid 2022 ASA License. Unlicensed athletes will pay an extra R30 for temporary a license. The entry fee for 1 mile is R50 and unlicensed athletes will pay an extra R10 for a temporary license. CLICK HERE to enter the race.

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