10000 for City2City

THE Blue IQ City2City Ultra Marathon in September, arguably Africa's richest race, is expected to attract about 10000 runners and walkers.

THE Blue IQ City2City Ultra Marathon in September, arguably Africa's richest race, is expected to attract about 10000 runners and walkers.

Winners are expected to share the total prize money of R1,3million.

The race between Pretoria and Johannesburg is also expected to boost tourism and the Gauteng economy, while becoming a popular feature of the Heritage Month celebrations.

The race's project manager Nazeem Matthews and Blue IQ chief executive Amanda Niar said after attracting 4000 athletes in two months of campaigning last year, doubling the tally was highly possible.

Niar attributed the marathon's success to the partnership between Blue IQ, the City of Tshwane, the Gauteng Tourism Authority, Jacaranda 94.2 FM and Central Gauteng Athletics.

With distances of 50km, 21km and 10km, runners and walkers have plenty of options along the scenic route from Hennops Park, Pretoria - running parallel to the Ben Schoeman M1 North Highway and most of the Gautrain rail network - to the finish line at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg.

The 50km distance makes it the third-longest ultra-marathon in the country after the Comrades Marathon and the Two Oceans.

This is the second time that Blue IQ has sponsored the iconic road-running attraction, which is more than 70 years old.

Matthews said the City2City marathon is now a permanent down-run, is being made safer, more fun and more tourism-friendly.

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