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Records abound at 2013 Two Oceans races

A record field of over 26 500 runners are expected to line up for the 2013 Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra-marathon and half-marathon on Saturday.

This year, the 21.1km half-marathon has attracted another maximum field, with just over 16┬á000 participants taking part ÔÇô more than half of them women.

The 56km ultra has attracted a record field of over 10┬á000 entrants for the 2013 event, making it the biggest-ever entry field for the ultra in the event’s 44-year history, a testament to its global reputation as the world’s most beautiful marathon.

The half-marathon is the biggest in the country and broke all entry records when entries closed in just four days.

The Trail Run also set entry records of its own as all 800 entries were bought in under three hours.┬áThis is the fourth year the trail run is being held and it has become a ÔÇ£must doÔÇØ event on the trail running calendar.

Race director Rowyn James added that while the ultra remains the flagship event with all the tradition and history behind it, the half and trail runs are where the growth is in terms of women and novice runners and participants looking for something different to do.

This year sees Western Province recording the biggest overall contingent of runners taking part in both events with 12 182 participants, which is 43.5% of the total field. Runners from the rest of South Africa amount to 13 987, with 1 821 runners coming from outside South Africa (international and Africa).

Other interesting statistics include the following:

Of last year’s top 10 men in the ultra, nine have entered this year’s event.┬áIn the women’s ultra, also nine of the top 10 have entered.┬áThe Nurgalieva twins have confirmed their entries for 2013 and the men’s defending champion, Stephen Muzhingi, will be lining up on race day.

In the 21.1km, seven of last year’s top 10 in the men have entered and Xolisa Tyali will be back to defend his title, although he faces some tough competition from some top contenders.┬áIn the women’s race, all of last year’s top 10 have entered, and Rene Kalmer will be back again to defend her title.

For the second time in the event’s history, the top 10 men and women in both the ultra and the half will undergo dope testing by Drug Free Sport SA.

Over R 275,000 has been raised for the event’s official beneficiaries: SANParks Honorary Rangers, Western Province Athletics and the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology.┬áThe Two Oceans Marathon Association’s priorities lie with ensuring that the education and sporting needs of children are met, education facilities are provided and upgraded, and environmental issues, involving parks, flora and fauna are included.

One thousand, eight hundred and 21 runners or 6,5% of the total field will be coming from outside the borders of South Africa. Seventy-four different countries will be taking part, with the United Kingdom recording the biggest contingent of runners with 389 participants. There are 292 runners from Germany, and 217 from the USA participating.

A total of 108 runners will receive their light blue number for completing 10 Half Marathons, while 219 runners participating in the 21km have their light blue number already.

More than 200 (227) runners will get their blue number for completing 10 ultras and 1 122 runners participating in the 56km have their blue number already.

There are 334 runners who have their blue number for the ultra and will be running the half this year.

In the 56km, 72% of the field are men and 28% are women. Thirty-eight percent of the ultra field are novices and will be doing the race for the first time. Sixty-seven percent of the ultra field comes from outside the Western Cape.

In the 21.1km, 50% of the field are men and 50% are women. In the 21.1km 39% are novices and will be doing the race for the first time. Thirty-nine percent of this total field comes from outside the Western Cape.  64% will be running in a temporary licence so are not a member of a club.

Administrative entries constitute 11% of the total entries received, which means that 89% of the participants entered online.

The three biggest Western Province club entries come from Acsis Varsity Old Boys with 520 runners, Lion of Africa Itheko Athletic Club with 431 runners and Celtic Harriers with 329 in both races.  Rand Athletic Club from Gauteng has 384 entries for both races.

Fifty-four runners in the 21.1km and 34 runners in the 56km will celebrate their birthday on race day.


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