The winners of next month’s Durban City Marathon stand to earn a healthy R30 000 if he or she can also dip under the race incentive times.
The popular race on the Durban beachfront on April 7 offers a fast, flat course for 10km, 21km and 42km distances and the organisers have incentivised the top athletes to make the pace even faster with a time bonus if the marathon winners are able to beat pre-set times.
A R20 000 bonus has been added to the R10 000 prize for winning the standard marathon event if the first male runners across the line goes under two hours 14 minutes. For the winning women, the target is two hours 35 minutes with the same prize money and incentive.
A quick look at recent results shows the target is certainly possible, but it will take a race record to earn the incentive. A glance at the 2017 results and the incentive looks safe with Anele Dlamini beating Duane Fortuin with a time of 2:22. Last year things were a bit closer to the bonus time with the top two both getting into the 2:17s as Sibusiso Nzima beat Melly Kennedy in a tight race.
However, the event which will give the top athletes hope of earning a big payday is the 2016 race where Barnabas Kiptum finished in 2:14:37 to beat Emmanuel Tirop by just less than two minutes.
For the women, the incentive looks to be reasonably safe based on recent results. The best times for the event were from 2016 when a tight three-way battle ended with Chelitu Bogale clocking 2:42:16 while Eunice Muchiri and Amelework Fikadu followed her across the line just four and 11 seconds behind respectively.
The flat nature of the beachfront course means runners will be able to target quick times and there are sure to be a host of personal bests throughout the field, particularly if the weather plays it part and there is no wind.
Because the event is a relatively easy and fast Comrades qualifier, there are also likely to be a mass of runners who will target this as their 42km race needed to enter the 90km run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
The event is organised by Phantane Athletics Club. Spokesman for the race organisers, Mdu Khumalo, believes there will be some very quick times recorded by runners throughout the field.
“The course is flat and fast — in fact it is perfect for the top guys to run record times and PBs, and for those hoping for a Comrades qualifier it is a relatively easy run,” said Khumalo this week.
“We are hoping to build this into one of the major marathons in the country and are putting a lot of effort into ensuring the runners have a great experience.
“There will be water tables every three kilometres,” added Khumalo.
Runners can enter online via www.webtickets.co.za or at Pick n Pay stores. Entry fees are R220 for the 42km standard marathon, R140 for the 21km half marathon and R120 for the 10km.
Entries close at midnight on April 2. Entries can be handed in at the KZN Athletics Office at Kings Park Stadium from 8am to 4pm (Monday to Friday) but completed entry forms must be accompanied by a deposit slip — no cash will be taken by KZNA. No entries will be taken on the day. For more race details and bank details visit the website www.durbancitymarathon.co.za.