Seen here: Endurocad athlete, Beetrice Themane finished 3rd overall and 1st Junior at the 2019 Totalsports Women’s Race that was hosted in Cape Town on National Women’s Day (09 August).
Photo Credit: Mark Sampson
The remaining two races of the ABSA Run Your City Series, the ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN and the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN have expanded from their Elite Invitational Programme, where amongst the World’s and South Africa’s best are invited to the ABSA Run Your City Series, to include the next generation of athletes by inviting athletes from Endurocad to line up in Johannesburg and Durban.
“We are extremely happy to have been approached by Stillwater Sports and to have some of our athletes invited to be part of the ABSA Run Your City Series,” said Athletes Manager of Endurocad, Nolene Conrad. “We have some incredibly talented young athletes coming through the ranks. Being provided this opportunity will go a long way for them to make the next step in their athletics career.”
A total of 12 athletes have been confirmed for both the ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN and the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on 24 September and 13 October respectively, amongst them the vastly talented Rowaldo Ratz, Ashley “Blockie” Smith and Tyler Beiling.
Rowaldo Ratz has for some time hinted at a great future in athletics but 2019 was definitely a breakthrough year for the 21-year-old from the Western Cape. Ratz has run Personal Bests in the 3000m (8:19.58 – Cape Town, 16 February), 5000m (13:56.34 – Stellenbosch, 26 March) and for the 10km on the road, clocking 29:33 in Bellville on 1 June. Ratz has lowered his best in the 5000m three times in 2019, his last improvement taking 15 seconds off of his previous best (14:11.67).
But it is his 10km time that will be targeted at the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN on 13 October. “He wants to break 29 minutes,” says Conrad. “With the type of competition that he will be afforded in Durban, we believe it is definitely possible.”
Ashley “Blockie” Smith is another Endurocad athlete who has shown immense potential. Smith earned himself a bronze medal at the World University Games in Napoli in July this year on the 3000m steeplechase. In the process he shaved 10 seconds off of his life time best time of 8:43.61 (also run in 2019). Smith is also no stranger to the 10km boasting a best of 28:51 from 2017. While the ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN will be a test of strength, Smith should not have too many difficulties tackling the race as the steeplechase relies on both speed and strength. If Smith races cleverly in Durban, he can well hit 28:30 or better.
Tyler Beiling can only benefit from racing in both Johannesburg and Durban. The 2018 SA Junior 10km and Cross Country Champion has had an impressive 2019 to date, lowering her personal bests in the 10 000m, in the 10km and Half Marathon this year. She was also part of the South African contingent that took home the bronze team medal in the Half Marathon at the World University Games in July this year.
Another youngster who is a budding talent is the 19-year-old Beetrice Themane. Themane, a former National Junior Champion in the 800m, has moved to longer distances. A product of the Vorentoe School in Johannesburg, Themane is moving up in distance. It seems to be paying off as she finished third over-all and 1st Junior in the Totalsports Women’s Race in Cape Town on 09 August, clocking a time of 37:18. There are hopes that she will break 36 minutes in Durban on 13 October.
The ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN and ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will provide the next generation of athletes with the perfect opportunity to take their talent to the next level and, in keeping with the goals and ambitions of the ABSA Run Your City Series, the chance to rub shoulders with the ‘best in the world’ on home soil.
The ABSA Run Your City Series consists of three events: the ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN (5th anniversary in 2019), ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN (4th anniversary in 2019) and ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN (3rd anniversary in 2019). Exhilarating mass participation road races, each event celebrates the splendour of its host city. Runners (and walkers) will be treated to a journey that will highlight iconic landmarks and feature lively performances on route.
Over the short period of 5 years, the series has grown to over 40 000 runners in the three cities and has attained IAAF Bronze Label Status in two events. The Durban race is now chasing Gold Label Status. The significance of that cannot be underestimated. Label Status means that the ABSA Run Your City Series will attract some of the best athletes in the world, which means that South Africa’s top athletes get to race the best on home soil. As a result fast times will be recorded on the African Continent.
Over the past 5 years the series has delivered compelling racing and fast times which will now be shared with the world through the process of a Livestream. The ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be livestreamed as was the Cape Town leg of the ABSA Run Your City Series.
Event: ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN
Date: Tuesday 24 September 2019 (National Heritage Day)
Venue: Start – ABSA Bank City in Johannesburg / Finish – Mary Fitzgerald Square (Newtown)
Charities: When entering online runners can choose to support one (or all four) of the event’s charities: 1. Cotlands, 2. Johannesburg Heritage Foundation, 3. Johannesburg SPCA and 4. Reach For A Dream Foundation.
Prize Purse: R250 000 / View the entire Prize Purse Breakdown CLICK HERE
Event: ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN
Date: Sunday 13 October 2019
Venue: Start – Blue Lagoon (Athlone Drive) / Finish – Beachfront Precinct (near The Bike and Bean)
Charities: When entering online runners can choose to support one (or all five) of the event’s charities 1. The Reach For A Dream Foundation, 2. TREE, 3. Durban & Coast SPCA, 4. LIV Village and 5. iThemba Lethu.
Prize Purse: R250 000 / View the entire Prize Purse Breakdown CLICK HERE
IN THE NEWS: The ABSA Run Your City Series has implemented a Single-Use Plastic (SUP) Management Campaign that aims to drastically reduce the usage of single-use plastics by 85% at all three events. “The aim of the ABSA Run Your City Series’ SUP Management Campaign is to drastically reduce the usage of single-use plastics by 85% at all three events. Our ultimate goal is to host a mass participation road running series that is plastic free,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director Stillwater Sports.
About the ABSA Run Your City Series:
ABSA is proud to once again bring you the ABSA Run Your City Series which comprises of three unique mass participation events that integrate business involvement, family, diversity, investment in community, world class achievement and fun for all participants, both individuals and businesses alike.
Each of the races are developed to take participants through the historical routes around each city, thereby adding a tourism element to each race, making it more than a race but an economic opportunity for each community.
The ABSA Run Your City Series is made up of three races around South Africa, namely, the ABSA Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the ABSA Joburg 10K CITYRUN and the ABSA Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.
For further information please visit www.runyourcityseries.com