The battlefields of Northern KwaZulu-Natal will be the focus of KZN road running on August 11 when the province’s top ultra-marathon runners go to war for the R100 000 first prize at the Prince Mangosuthu Ultra Marathon in Dundee.
The inaugural event offers runners a choice of three distances: It caters for the serious ultra-distance runner with a tough 52km that finishes in Dundee, as well as a 10km for the speedsters and a 5km for the fun runners.
The events have a generous prize fund with R100 000 going to the winning men and women in the 52km races, while second and third will earn R50 000 and R25 000 respectively with prizes going down to the tenth finisher who will earn R1 000.
Even the top runners in the 10km will be well rewarded with the winner earning R3 000 down to R1 000 for the fifth-place finisher.
It is fitting the 52km ultra marathon, which rewards endurance, is named after one of South Africa’s most enduring politicians, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and doubly so because the event takes place in the month the long-time leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party celebrates his 91st birthday.
The 52km route from the town of Nquthu to Dundee is an undulating course that can be roughly broken into three sections. The first third will be a fast predominantly downhill section of about 18km until the runners cross the Buffalo River. The next 16km are characterised by some long climbs, including the tough nine-kilometre ascent out of the river valley. The remainder of the route sees the competitors tackling an undulating route as they conquer hills and descents into Dundee.
The races are co-hosted by the Nquthu and Dundee Development Athletics Clubs.
The 52km starts at the Mgazi Secondary School in Nquthu and takes athletes on the undulating R68 to Dundee where athletes will finish at the Kallies Sports Stadium. The 10km race and 5km fun run start and finish at the stadium.
Online entries are via www.webtickets.co.za and Pick n Pay stores, and manual pre-entries will be taken at the Umzinyathi District Municipality and on race day at the start venues. Entry fees are R130 for the 52km, R50 for the 10km and R5 for the 5km.
The 52km starts at 5.30am and the 10km at 6am. All participants will receive a free T-shirt. The race will be timed by FinishTime.