Athletics South Africa (ASA) yesterday put aside a massive R806 700 prize money for this year's Nedbank Soweto Marathon on November 4.
This has also resulted in the first prize of the standard marathon (42,2km) being increased from R60 000 to R100 000 for the senior men's and women's categories.
Speaking at the launch at a leading restaurant in Orlando, ASA president Leonard Chuene said they were bent on taking the marathon to greater heights.
"This year's massive financial incentives will send out a clear message that we are serious about making Soweto Marathon one of the best in the world.
"Our plan is to turn it into a more successful international marathon which will compete with the likes of London, New York, Paris and other big marathons.
"One of the first things we need to do is to pay good money, we are working on that plan even if it means paying the runners in Euros.
"The support we get from Nedbank has been great, we are working together with them to promote the Soweto Marathon globally.
"We are excited that it already attracts a large number of runners from Zimbabwe and Lesotho, who have been domi- nating it in the past four years.
"What makes us even happy is that we also have runners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and other African countries who compete in South Africa.
"The theme for this year's marathon is 'Championing Change', which forms part of our continued efforts to transform our society."
Andy Scott, sponsorship manager of the banking institution, said they were delighted to be part of the ever growing Soweto Marathon.
Scott said their company would continue to assist ASA in making the Soweto Marathon one of the greatest on the land.
Nosisa Mokoka, the City of Johannesburg director of sport, said sport was a great vehicle to use for the transformation of society. Besides the standard marathon, there will also be a 10km road race, a 10km wheelchair race, a 20km walk and a 5km fun run for schools.
Entry fee for the marathon is R65, the 20km walk (R40), the 10km (R30), the 10km wheelchair (R30) and the schools' challenge (R5).
The marathon will be shown live on SABC 2 between 6am and 11am. Call ASA on (011) 880-5800/6 for more information on the marathon.