CLOSE to 5000 athletes from in and around Gauteng were seen at the starting line of last year's Vodacom Country Challenge road race and this year's event on Sunday, August 23, looks set to attract another huge field.
According to the organisers, entries for this year's race are now open and both seasoned and recreational athletes are invited to enter.
Proceeds from race entries will go to the development of athletes from historically disadvantaged communities.
The event will start and finish at Vodaworld in Midrand. It consists of three distances - a 21,1km race, a 10km race and a 5km fun run.
Prize monies on offer will total more than R32000, which includes various time-based performance incentives. Each finisher will also receive a medal.
Athletes wishing to pre-enter the 21,1km and 10km races can do so on-line at www.enteronline.co.za. Pre-entries will be accepted until August 16.
However, runners may also enter on race day at no additional cost.
Entry fees for licensed athletes are R40 for the 21,1km race and R25 for the 10km race; while entry fees for unlicensed athletes are R60 for the 21,1km race and R40 for the 10km race.
Entry to the 5km fun run will cost R10.
The first 3000 pre-entrants in the 21,1km and 10km events will each receive a free T-shirt.
The 21,1km and 10km races will both start at 8am and the 5km fun run at 8.20am.
The race, now in its ninth year, has enjoyed the support of numerous prominent athletes over the years.
Last year's event saw Tshidiso Bosiu win the 21,1km race, with Lebenya Nkoka in second place and Portipher Dombojena third.
The women's race was won by Moleboheng Mafata, with Matrinta Mota in second place and Irvette van Blerk third.While Xolisa Tyali claimed first place in the men's 10km race, the women's event was won by Violet Raseboya.