Vereeniging — Almost 2 000 runners have pre-entered the various Sedibeng Marathon events with the majority of those looking to beat the Christmas rush and get in a Comrades qualifying time before their festive over-indulgences hamper their preparations.
The 42,2km event has not surprisingly proved to be very popular among the four distances on offer at the Sedibeng Marathon which takes place at the Vaal Showgrounds in Vereeniging on Sunday (December 8).
Comrades and Two oceans qualifying season is in full swing with runners who take a long-term approach to the two ultra-marathons keen to secure early qualifying and seeding times before the Christmas season potentially derails their carefully scheduled training plans.
This relatively flat route offers runners in the Highveld a perfect opportunity to bank an early qualifyier. This is one of the final marathons of the year.
The qualifying criteria for next year’s Comrades Marathon is to complete a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, while Two Oceans sets a time limit of five hours as their qualifying mark.
Runners who are not looking for a full 42.2km distance also have the option of a 21.1km or 10km to work on their speed, while there is a 5km fun run option available for those who may be considering a 2021 attempt at one of the big ultra-marathons.
Online entries have closed, but for those runners who have not entered the Sedibeng Marathon yet, all is not lost. Late entries for all events will be accepted at the race registration on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the start and finish venue at the Vaal Showgrounds. Registration and number collection will take place from 9am to 3pm on Friday and Saturday and from 4am to 5.30am on Sunday before the race. The marathon and half marathon starts at 6am on Sunday with the 10km and 5km fun run starting at 6.30am.
“The Sedibeng Marathon is the final chance in 2019 for runners in Gauteng to get their qualifying and seeding times for Comrades and Two Oceans,” said event spokesman Frans Chauke. “This course has been set up for those who are looking for a qualifying race.
“The pre-entry has been good with close to 2 000 already entered and we expect a healthy flow of late entries at the registration on Friday and Saturday.”
Parking and car guards will be available at the grounds. More information an route maps can be found at https://finishtime.co.za/sedibeng2019/