Three Grahamstown athletes are off to Potchefstroom this weekend for the ASA Cross Country Championships on Saturday (9 September).
Malibongwe Mbelu, Jene Banfield and Terri-Lynn Penney, all members of Grahamstown based Run/Walk For life Athletics Club, are part of the Eastern province team. The three took part in a number of EPA cross-country events around the province, as part of the selection criteria.
The cross country champs caters for male and female athletes from U9 up to 65 plus categories. Apart from the category events, there are also the senior events, which will see South Africa’s top men and women in action alongside the top age group athletes.
The EP team is made up of 57 athletes and four team managers.
Mbelu will take part in the 45-49 category, Banfield will compete in the women’s 45-49 age category and Penney in the 40-45 category.
Over 3 700 athletes have entered the annual ASA Cross Country Championships, which starts at 7.45am on Saturday at NWU-Pukke Sports Fields.
Mbelu will be up in the first race of the day, tackling the 8km course, while Penney and Banfield will cover 4km, starting at 8.20am.
Prize money will be awarded to the top six men and women in senior and junior categories and the day’s racing will also include a mixed relay contest, with prizes on offer for the first three places and a trophy for the winning squad.
“Cross country is the foundation of middle and long distance running, so we are pleased to have so many entries at this year’s championships,” says Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.
“While there is no IAAF World Cross Country Championships next year, this event will play a key role in preparing athletes to compete against the world’s best at major international events in 2018 such as the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Valencia in March and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April.
“We are expecting some exciting races this weekend, so good luck to all participants,” said Skhosana.
Click here to view the full EPA cross country team list