Road runners chase big money in Bloemfontein

South Africa’s top runners will have to weather an onslaught from their foreign counterparts at the Nedbank Matha Series’ Half Marathon in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

South Africa’s Hendrick Ramaala, Xolisa Tyali and Coolboy Ngamole will face challenges from Zimbabwe’s Lewis Masunda and Kenya’s Wesley Ruto.

In the women’s race, the South African Champion, Annerien van Schalkwyk will have her work cut out to finish ahead of the foreign foursome, Oneile Dintwe of Botswana and the three Zimbabweans, Sharon Tavenga, Thabita Tsatsa and Samokaliso Moyo.

With a total prize purse of R209 100, the nation’s best men and women will also be rewarded for producing quick times over the 21,1 kilometres distance. And even if the half-marathon turns into a slow, tactical affair, the top finishers will have more than enough reason to give it their best.

The first man and woman will receive R20 000, second place will earn R15 000 and third will take home R10 000.

Every open athlete who finishes in the top 10 will take home a cash reward, while the sponsors have ensured the nation’s young stars will turn out in their hoards.

The first junior man and woman across the line will each receive R3 000 and prize money will also be awarded to the remainder of the top 10 in the under-19 category.

And on the opposite side of the spectrum, the older athletes will also be handsomely rewarded for stepping onto the podium.

The winner in the men’s and women’s veteran, master and grandmaster categories will all receive R2 000, second place in all three divisions will earn R1 500 and third will pick up R1 000.

Great grandmasters in the men’s and women’s categories will receive R500, R300 and R200 for the top three places respectively.—Sapa

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