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Pretoria-Joburg race last ran 8 years ago

Ultra runners welcome return of City2City

Neville Khoza Journalist
Lizzy Ramadimetja and Sikhumbuzo Seme at the launch of the Premier's Social Cohesion Games and City2City Ultra Marathon at Hilton Hotel Sandton, Johannesburg.
Lizzy Ramadimetja and Sikhumbuzo Seme at the launch of the Premier's Social Cohesion Games and City2City Ultra Marathon at Hilton Hotel Sandton, Johannesburg.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Ultra runners Sikhumbuzo Seme and Lizzy Ramadimetja expressed their excitement that the City2City marathon will finally make its return this month.

The 50km race between Tshwane and Johannesburg returns on March 31 after an eight-year hiatus. Backed by the Gauteng provincial government, the event offers a staggering R1.2-million in prize money.

The winners in the men’s and women’s races will each walk away with R200,000, with the runners-up taking R100,000 each.

The 50km ultra-marathon will start at Centurion Rugby Club at 6am and finish at the Wanderers sports club.

Seme and Ramadimetja said the race returned at a perfect time as it will help them with their preparations for the Comrades Marathon up-run in June as City2City has a hilly route.

“I hope it will return again next year and stay on after that. From the first day I heard about the race, the preparations went straight to it,” Seme told the media during the race's launch in Sandton yesterday.

“The plan is to be in the top three on the podium. This is part of the Comrades preparations. I’m very happy for the premier [Panyaza Lesufi] to have made sure that the race returns. It has a lot of history. It will help us as athletes to prepare for Comrades.

“The race is very tough... there are a lot of hills, and the plan will be to stick with the leading pack until the 42km mark; that’s where the race starts.”

Ramadimetja shared Seme’s sentiments: “I’m happy that the City2City marathon is back and it’s a big thing for me because I’m an ultra-runner, so at least we have something that we will be celebrating.

“I’m also training for Comrades and when I saw that it (City2City) is giving money to the top 10, I knew that I should enter.”

Meanwhile, Lesufi said the plan in the future is to have the marathon staged on April 27, during Freedom Day celebrations.


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