Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
18 Aug 2015
5:21 pm

Makhanya to run Soweto Marathon 

Wesley Botton

Distance runner Mapaseka Makhanya will make her fourth attempt at the classic 42km distance in her home town, after confirming on Tuesday she would turn out at the Soweto Marathon in November.

File picture: Mapaseka Makhanya. Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images.

Makhanya, who set her personal best of 2:31:02 in Hannover in April, won the half-marathon race in Soweto last year.

“I will be doing the full 42km. It will form part of my preparations for next year’s Olympics,” Makhanya said at the launch of the event.

“This race is different to any other. Soweto is my home and there is amazing support.”

After being cancelled in 2013, the annual race through the streets of the historical township bounced back with a bang last year, attracting over 21 000 runners in the 10km, 21km and 42km races. With the new headline sponsor confirming a three-year deal, it has been cemented into the national athletics calendar for at least a few more seasons.

“Last year’s race showed a lot of growth and we want this year to be bigger and better,” said Soweto Marathon Trust chairperson Sello Khunou.

The 10km and 21km routes had been changed, in order to incorporate more of Soweto, rather than brushing the outskirts of the township.

“The route will again be filled with historical landmarks, famous streets and unforgettable memories that belong to the people of South Africa,” Khunou said.

Organisers confirmed the race, to be held on November 1, would again start and finish at Nasrec Expo Centre.  Prize money had been significantly increased from previous years, with R200 000 up for grabs to the men’s and women’s 42km winners.