Registrations for the 3rd annual Free State O. R. Tambo Marathon for both individuals and clubs are still open despite the closure of online registrations on 18 November.
The Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (DSACR) is urging athletes from across the province and the country to take this opportunity to participate in this year’s edition of the annual marathon meeting. Clubs and individuals wishing to register can do so at the Achilles Running Club at the corner of Att Horak Street and Parfitt Avenue in Bloemfontein. Registration will close on 24 November.
“Registration forms are also available from all public libraries across the province. The Free State O.R. Marathon is staged according to IAAF, ASA, AFS and competition specific rules. No entries will be accepted on the day of the race,” said the Department’s Director of Communications, Tankiso Zola in a statement.
The marathon will be competed in the 42.2Km; 21.1Km half-marathon; 10Km as well as the 5Km Fun Run categories. Winners in the in the Marathon; Half-marathon and the 10Km road races are set to pocket a combined total of R740 000 in prize money.
Athletes wishing to take part in the race will pay an entry fee of R200 for the 42.2 Km marathon with those 60 years and above paying R100. For the 21.1 Km half marathon, the entry fee is R140 while athletes aged 60 years and above will only pay R70. For the 10 Km run athletes will have to pay R100 and R50 for those aged 60 years and above while all athletes will pay a registration fee of R50 for the 5 Km Fun Run. Non-ASA registered runners will be expected to buy a temporary license number at R50.
Named after one of South Africa’s liberation stalwarts, Oliver Reginald Tambo, the marathon is an annual event which was first held in 2016. It is hosted by the provincial Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation in collaboration with the Free State Sport Confederation (FSSC), Free State Athletics (FSA) and Achilles Running Club. The 2018 edition is being sponsored by Coca Cola Beverages South Africa and Old Mutual.
“The Free State O.R. Tambo Marathon was conceptualized to celebrate the spirit of Comrade Oliver Reginald Manyane Tambo in appreciation and recognition of the sacrifice and contribution made by this gallant fighter in our country’s struggle for freedom. Comrade Tambo had a vision for a free, fair and equal society, and we celebrate him through this marathon. The tenacious and resilient spirit of Comrade Oliver Tambo will be re-lived by our athletes as they embark on various races during this marathon.” MEC Mathabo Leeto said.
The race will begin and end at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. First placed runners will pocket R80 000 in the 42.2Km marathon; R30 000 in the 21.1Km half-marathon and R15 000 in the 10Km road race.
The first edition of the race in 2016 was won by Asefa Mengstu of Ethiopia in the male category in a time of 2: 11: 16s with another Ethiopian, Shitaye Gemechu Debellu winning the women’s race in 2: 43: 05s. Phakwago Molokolgi Phillip won the men’s 42.2Km marathon last year in a time of 2: 33: 04 with the women’s race being won by Zimbabwe’s Tabitha Tsatsa in a time of 3: 05: 50.