FORMER Two Oceans winner George Ntshiliza and Nedbank teammate Sandile Ngunguza will carry the Nelson Mandela Bay metro's hopes in the inaugural Legends Marathon – Running for a Cause on Saturday.
Each participant will be able to run for their own cause in the 68km ultra, which starts at the Bhisho Stadium and ends at the Jan Smuts Stadium in East London.
The race, organised by the East London-based Overtakers Sporting Club, incorporates the SA half-marathon championships and a 5km fun run.
Cash prizes totalling R1-million across the ultra and half-marathon events are up for grabs. The winner's purse in the ultra is a lucrative R100000, down to R1500 for the runner who finishes 20th.
The male and female winners of the half-marathon will pick up R15000 each, with the runners finishing 10th collecting R1000 each. There are also category prizes for the age groups.
All finishers will qualify for a medal and a T-shirt, and all those who complete the 5km will receive a T-shirt.
The first male and female walkers home will collect R10000 each.
Most of the country's elite roadrunners have entered the half-marathon which will serve as national trials for next year's world half-marathon championships in Denmark.
"All 17 [Athletics SA] provinces have registered for the race," Athletics SA roadrunning chairman James Moloi said.
EP Athletics have entered a contingent of 14 runners in the various age-groups. Achilles runner Sizinzo Kama, who won his age group (60-64) at this year's Two Oceans, is EP's best medal hope.
Entries at Eastern Cape sports shops close at midday today. Registration and collection of goodie bags (ultra and half-marathon) will take place tomorrow and Friday (10am-6pm) at theJan Smuts Stadium.
Applications are invited from Eastern Cape charity organisations for consideration as beneficiaries of the Legends Marathon.