This popular event will take place on Sunday, August 21 at Vodaworld in Midrand. The 21.1km race, consistently voted as one of SA’s Top 10 Half Marathons*, and shorter 10km race will begin at 08:00, with the 5km Fun Run starting at 08:30.
Both seasoned and recreational athletes are invited to enter this year’s race and go for gold with the R33 000 worth of prize money offered. The cash prizes include realistic performance incentives for the 21.1km (01:06:30 for the men and 01:20:00 for the women) and 10km races (00:30:15 for the men and 00:36:30 for the women). Each finisher will also receive a medal and there is a lucky draw with cellphones and running shoes up for grabs at the 21.1km prize giving.
Hosted by the Nedbank Running Club, the Runner’s Guide describes the 21.1km race as not the traditional two-lapper, with the course designed to give participators a quiet, scenic and challenging run. It goes on to say that the charm and atmosphere of the Vodacom Country Challenge can be attributed in part to the country roads on gravel found in both of the main race routes.
The Fun Run – where walkers are welcome – combined with the refreshments on sale and great activities like jumping castles and face painting for the kids, means the Challenge is an event the whole family can join in on.
Pre-entries close a week before the race on Sunday, August 14. The first 3000 pre-entrants will receive a backpack upon entering. Entry forms for the 21.1km and 10km races can be found at most leading sports shops in Johannesburg or Pretoria: The Sweat Shops in Southdowns Shopping Centre Irene, Dunkeld West Centre and Fourways Crossing; The Randburg Runner; The Bedford Runner; Run-Away Sport at the Sanlam Centre in Pretoria; and Sportsman’s Warehouse stores situated at Stoneridge in Modderfontein, Centurion, The Glen Shopping Centre, Woodmead, Princess Crossing, Cresta and East Rand Mall. Runners can also enter online at www.enteronline .co.za and entries faxed to (011) 608 1130 will be accepted if proof of payment is included. However, athletes may also enter on race day from 6am at no additional cost.
Proceeds from race entries will again go towards the development of athletes from historically disadvantaged communities. The entry fee for licensed athletes participating in the 21.1km race is R60 and R80 for unlicensed athletes. For licensed athletes participating in the 10km race the entry fee is R40 and R55 for unlicensed athletes.
The 5km Fun Run / Walk is open to people of all ages and entries will only be taken on the race day itself. The entry fee is R10 and the first 1000 finishers will each receive a medal, running water bottle and branded peak cap.
The Vodacom Country Challenge continues to attract elite and novice athletes alike from across South Africa. The men to beat this year are Zongamele Dyubeni, last year’s 21.1km winner with a time of 1:07:13, and Xolisa Tyali who won the 10km race in 29:52. The women champions were Irvette Van Blerk who won the half marathon with a time of 1:19:21 and the 10km race winner Hellen Chiundo, who completed the course in 37:29.
For more information contact Mark Struwig on (011) 608 3071 or Lucky Miya on (011) 608 0999.