Runners ready for Soweto Marathon

File: The 24th Soweto Marathon will take place in the Johannesburg township on Sunday. Photo: Pixabay

JOHANNESBURG - The 24th Soweto Marathon will take place in the Johannesburg township on Sunday.

The race boasts historic attractions such as Vilakazi Street, Morris Isaacson High School and the June 16 Memorial Acre for its 26,000 participants.

For the non-elite athlete, the Soweto Marathon is about the experience of running through one of the most historical areas of the country, then sharing in the prize money of more than R660,000.

"In terms of Soweto, it's the People's Race, going through the heart of Soweto, I think that's quite a big attraction. I think the fact that we start and finish at an iconic stadium like FNB also makes a big difference for us," Soweto Marathon Race Director Danny Blumberg said.

For the first time ever, all three categories were sold out.

Due to popular demand, the overall intake had to be increased from 25,000 to 26,000.

"I started running the Soweto Marathon in the 90s. First, it was Sowetan Coca-Cola Marathon and started at Orlando Stadium, it was two laps. Then they moved to Nasrec and after Nasrec, they moved here to FNB Stadium. It's a tough race," multiple Soweto Marathon runner Oupa Skhosana said.

With just hours to go until the race, Futurelife dietitian Lara de Santana explains what athletes should be focusing on.

"Change nothing, get a good night's sleep, don't binge on anything you shouldn't be bingeing on and obviously, no alcohol before and directly after the race. We need to make sure that we're recovering properly, so we want to be able to make sure that we're stretching, sleeping and getting enough protein as well as carbs, and rehydrating directly after the race as well," said Futurelife Dietician, Lara de Santana," she said.

The Soweto Marathon's two official charities are the Kliptown Youth Programme and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

South African running guru Thulani Sibisi is a prostate cancer survivor.

The race begins at 6am on Sunday.

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