50km world record attempt in Gqeberha gets bronze label status‚ says sponsor

Athletes during the 2019 Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon 21.1km on April 20, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Athletes during the 2019 Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon 21.1km on April 20, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: ImageSA/Gallo Images

Road-running sponsor Nedbank says its 50km world record attempt in Gqeberha on May 23 has received bronze label status from the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU).

Only two other local ultras have been awarded that label‚ the iconic Comrades and Two Oceans marathons.

“This exclusive race will welcome top-tier elite runners and renowned industry names‚ making it one of the greatest running line-ups that South African running has ever seen‚” Nedbank said in a statement on Thursday.

The men’s world best over 50km for men‚ 2hr 43min 38sec‚ has been held by SA star Thompson Magawana since 1988‚ while Alyson Dixon of Britain set the 3:07:20 women’s mark in 2019.

The second-fastest woman over this distance is another South African‚ Frith van der Merwe‚ who went 3:08:39 in 1989.

Nedbank said‚ given the devastating effects of Covid‚ it would forego multiple branding opportunities and hand these over to 35 small businesses‚ “giving them the opportunity to get back on their feet”.

The race will be broadcast on SABC.

“Nedbank has supported running for decades‚ and we’ve identified the need to get elite runners back on the road‚ give fans of the sport a really compelling TV product and‚ in the process‚ continue to help small-business banking clients to get publicity and access to value-adding platforms that we’ve offered from the onset of the pandemic‚” group sponsorships and cause marketing head Tobie Badenhorst said in the statement.

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