ASA raises bar for Soweto race

ATHLETICS SA plans to set up a separate office to run the Soweto Marathon to make it more profitable and attract runners from around the world.

ATHLETICS SA plans to set up a separate office to run the Soweto Marathon to make it more profitable and attract runners from around the world.

"We want to have dedicated staff for the Soweto Marathon, people who will focus on the event on a daily basis," Kakata Maponyane, ASA's deputy president, said yesterday.

Maponyane said they were encouraged by support from runners and Soweto residents during its 19th instalment on Sunday.

"It was a roaring success in every respect. We are taking the marathon to another level after some of the suggestions we received.

"One of the main things brought to the attention of our road-running commission led by Thomas Manoko has been the issue of traffic, but we are dealing with it.

"We are engaging the taxi industry, but the executive mayor of Johannesburg, Amos Masondo, and metro police were also supportive.

"We appeal to our runners to register early and make sure they collect their race tags and goodies' bags a week before the race.

"It's becomes chaotic when they all turn up on the race of the marathon to collect them, we have places like Pilditch Stadium and Nasrec as pick-up points."

Maponyane said they wanted the marathon to be in the same league as similar events overseas.

"It is good that the marathon attracts runners from Kenya and Ethiopia.

"We want to see the big names, but that will require money. We are working to come up with a more professional event."

Sunday's marathon was won by Tshiliso Bosiu (men) and Rene Kalmer (women).

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