Sunday’s World AIDS Day Half Marathon and 10km road race serves as a perfect training run for Comrades and Two Oceans hopefuls with the added bonus that runners will be competing for a worthy cause.
The route is flat and fast with the half marathon runners doing two laps starting and finishing at the Katlehong Sports Complex in Masakhane Road in Katlehong. The 10km is one lap of the route and there is also a 5km fun run option.
Although online entries closed earlier this month, athletes are still able to take part in one of the last half marathons of the year by entering at registration or at the start on Sunday morning. Registration takes place at the Katlehong Stadium on Thursday and Friday from 11am to 3pm, and on race morning from 5am.
The event is being held in support of World AIDS Day which takes place on December 1 each year. The event provides an opportunity for competitors and spectators to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.
“World AIDS Day and events such as this are important because they remind the public and government that HIV has not gone away,” said event organiser Arnold Ravhutulu. “There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.
“Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus and more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
“We hope this event helps, in a small way, to encourage people to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV and also to find out more about the disease so as to protect themselves.”
All prizewinners will receive gold medals, while any runner completing the 21km in under 90 minutes and the 10km in under 40 minutes will qualify for a silver. The first 1 000 runners in the 21km and 10km and 500 fun runners will all receive bronze medals.
The 21km and 10km races start at 6.30am and the fun run at 7am. Race entries are R120 and R100 respectively for the 21km and 10km events with temporary licences of R35 and R30 if the athlete does not have a race licence. The fun run is R50 with no temporary licence applicable.