The revamped Durban beachfront has become one of KwaZulu-Natal’s favourite running spots and next weekend it will be crowded with athletes looking to secure their all-important ultra-marathon qualifying times at the KZN Best of Best Marathon.
Just about every weekend the promenade is filled with recreational athletes simply enjoying some exercise in warm weather while allowing the beautiful seaside views to distract them from the rigours of getting fit. However, next Saturday there will be an extra-large influx of runners as they take part in the 42,2km, 21,1km and 10km events that make up the KZN Best of Best Marathon.
For the full-distance marathon runners there will be an extra edge to their morning run as many will be looking to finish with a sub-five or sub-4:50 time, which will be good enough to secure a spot in the Two Oceans or Comrades Marathons respectively.
The Two Oceans qualifying closes on March 9 which means for many of the Best of Best entrants next Saturday’s run will in all likelihood be their last attempt to qualify for the famous Cape Town ultra-marathon. Comrades hopefuls have until May 4 to submit their qualifying times so any runners who fall short will probably be able to squeeze in another marathon attempt.
The KZN Best of Best organisers, the Ama-Raven Athletics Club, has put together an interesting route that incorporates the Durban beachfront north of Suncoast. After running under the M4 at Blue Lagoon, competitors will cross the Mgeni River before meandering through the leafy Durban North suburbs before returning to the start/finish at Kings Park Athletics Stadium.
The half marathon runners will stop after the first lap, leaving the full marathon 42,2km runners to head off on a second circuit of the course (a route map can be found online at bit.ly/BestOfBestRoute2020). The racing starts at 5am.
Online entries are on Webtickets at bit.ly/BestOfBest2020Enter. Race pack collection and late entries are at Kings Park Athletics Stadium on February 27 and 28 from 9am to 4pm each day. There will be no entries on race day.
The event is timed by FinishTime.