ASA throws cash at SA runners

SOUTH Africa's top road runners will have an added incentive to break the stranglehold foreign runners have had on major local competitions when they compete in the Nedbank SA Half Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

SOUTH Africa's top road runners will have an added incentive to break the stranglehold foreign runners have had on major local competitions when they compete in the Nedbank SA Half Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Apart from the prize money at stake, Athletics South Africa (ASA) has announced lucrative incentives totalling R480000 that will be available for South African men and women runners.

This is over and above the race prize money that is payable to all top finishers, irrespective of their nationality. The championships will also serve as trials to select a provisional team to represent South Africa at the International Association of Athletics Federations' World Half Marathon in Birmingham on October 11.

A new local record for men or women will be rewarded with an extra R150000, while the first man to finish the race in less than 61 minutes will net R75000, the second R50000 and the third R30000.

For women to earn these prizes they will have to finish in less than 68 minutes.

A sub-61:30 time for men will earn the first three runners R25000, R15000 and R10000 while a sub 62:00 will earn the first three runners R8000, R6000 and R4000. Women will have to dip under 70:00 and 72:00 respectively to qualify for these incentives.

For top-placed junior runners under 62:00 (women under 76:00), R10000 is available, while men under 62:30 (women under 78:00) will get R7000 and men under 63:00 (women under 80:00) will get R5000.

"We believe our athletes have the talent to be among the best in the world. We hope these incentives will help in breaking the monotony of foreign athletes dominating local races," said ASA president Leonard Chuene. - Sapa

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