Record number of athletes line up for Soweto Marathon


History will be made when a record 32 000 runners pound the streets and back alleys of Soweto on Sunday, 4 November 2018, during the Soweto Marathon.

This represents an increase of 7 000 more athletes from last year’s total of 25 000 runners. Among the runners on Sunday will be the first citizen of the country President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa will run the 25th edition of the historic marathon, race organiser and Soweto Marathon Trust Chairman Sello Khunou said at the media launch at the FNB Stadium today.

He added that the 600 athletes from out of town will be accommodated at an athletes village in Central Western Jabavu. The local taxi association has offered to ferry them to and fro the FNB Stadium for no charge.

Scores of the City of Joburg’s Emergency Management Service personnel, Joburg Road Agency officials and the Joburg Metro Police Department will line up the 42.2km, 21km and 10km routes to ensure that everything runs according to plan, confirmed Community Development Executive Director Kepi Madumo.

The marathon, which will be covered live on SABC2, will have 1.2 million water sachets and 24 000 2L bottles of Coke for race day to quench the runners’ thirst.

For three EMS firefighters, the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon is not just a race. They would run in their bunker gear as an emotional tribute to their fallen colleagues, who perished in the fire that recently engulfed the Bank of Lisbon building.

Firefighters Mduduzi Ndlovu, 40, Simphiwe Moropane, 28, and Khathutshelo Muedi, 37, lost their lives while fighting the raging blaze, which also injured eight of their colleagues two months ago in the Johannesburg city center.

Nhlakanipho Khoza, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Mzolo Nkosi will be kitted in full gear when they take on the 42.2km marathon. The race starts and finishes at Soweto’s iconic FNB Stadium.

Dubbed the People’s Race, the marathon attracts runners from around the country and from other African states, including Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia.

The marathon has a total prize purse of R1 million and comprises a 10km run, a 21km half marathon, and the main event, the 42.2km marathon. Athletes who finish in the top 10 are guaranteed to walk away with at least R250 000 each.

The City of Joburg will proudly host the Soweto Marathon, which is sponsored by insurance giant Old Mutual.