Runners meet in Gqeberha at the weekend

The streets of Gqeberha will be busy this weekend as runners compete in the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon (21km). Numerous runners from the Eastern Cape and neighbouring provinces are anticipated.

Melikhaya Frans, a well-known long-distance runner, Yanga Malusi, and Zandile Rubushe from East London are three runners from the Eastern Cape who will be expected to maintain their reputations.

Frans has had a very good year as a runner, but he is under pressure because the runners coming to Gqeberha will be competing for the top spot. The Buffalo City Marathon was recently won by Malusi, a promising long-distance runner. On the women’s side, there is also Rubushe, who made a big impression at the race in East London a few weeks ago.

On June 3, more than 1,500 runners will be present in Summerstrand, according to the organisers. “With the support of our sponsors, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, we can declare that we anticipate having top runners from South Africa and other countries to participate in this event.

“We are organisers working to create a world-class running tournament. This race has been authorised by World Athletics and includes the ASA Half National Championships,” said Michael Mbambani.

James Moloi, the president of Athletic SA, applauded the organisers’ excellent work. “I want to commend the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon organisers for doing such a great job, which includes the ASA Half Marathon Championships,” added Moloi.

Namakoe Nkhasi from Lesotho, Kipkemoi Kiprono from Kenya, Dinkalem Ayele from Ethiopia, Desmond Zibi from South Africa, Ftaw Zeray, Genet Habela Abdurkadir, Emma Pallant, and Chaltu Bedo are a few of the runners whose participation has been confirmed. On the day of the launch, Nelson Mandela Metro’s Bassie Kamana said the municipality is proud of the racing tournament held in Gqeberha.

“The Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon and ASA Championships have been sponsored by the municipality every year since 2014, making this the ninth consecutive year. We are happy that our city can hold events of this kind,” said Kamana.

The runners will begin running at 7am at Summerstrand. Each runner will receive a medal in addition to the R80 000 first-place prize.