Deloitte Challenge 2020 will have beefed up water points and again be a Comrades and Two Oceans qualifier

06 November 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201917017

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THE organisers of the Deloitte Challenge KZN, now widely acknowledged to be KwaZulu-Natal’s most scenic race, have confirmed that next year’s 6th running will take place on 15 March 2020 and will, once again, be a Comrades and Two Oceans marathon qualifier.

Entries for the event opened today, 6 November 2019.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming support received for the race from the running community and that Deloitte have agreed to once again be the title sponsor for the 2020 event,” said Dolphin Coast Striders running club chairman Paul Swainson.

The event, hosted by the club, is run between Ballito and Durban with breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean and lush coastal vegetation. It comprises a Marathon, Half Marathon, Ten-K, 5km fun run and 40km cycle sprint.

“This year we attracted a record field of close to 10 000. For next year’s race we’ll be capping entries at that so anyone who wishes to participate is urged to enter early to avoid disappointment,” said Arthur Bertram, the new Deloitte Challenge race director, who added that they have an enthusiastic and energised team from Dolphin Coast Striders who are determined to grow the event on the its history of previous successes.

“While the cut-off date to qualify for Two Oceans falls before The Deloitte Challenge, we’ve secured special dispensation from Oceans for Deloitte participants to qualify at our race, provided they submit their times by the 16th March,” Bertram emphasised.

Deloitte KZN’s Office Managing Partner, Ruwayda Redfearn said the Challenge had become an integral part of Deloitte’s stated purpose, to make an “impact that matters”.

“One way we aim to do this is by encouraging ordinary people to live a healthy and more balanced lifestyle, and for this reason the Deloitte Challenge offers something for the entire family, irrespective of age and fitness levels.”

Redfearn said another positive spin-off of the event was the boost it provided for the province’s tourism and hospitality industry, with increasing numbers of the ever-growing field hailing from other provinces.

Turning to the Challenge’s timing, carefully chosen in mid-March so as to be a qualifier for two of South Africa’s iconic races – the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons – Bertram said the scenic, relatively flat coastal provided an ideal opportunity for runners looking to achieve an excellent time.

Former Comrades men’s winner and defending Two Oceans champion, Bongumusa Mthembu, concurred. “What a brilliant race,” he said after completing this year’s 42km event in second place after Siyabonga Nkonde. “This is a wonderful course and the perfect warm-up for the upcoming Two Oceans Marathon and, later, Comrades.”

Bertram said the proximity of the finish to the beach, combined with the lively market atmosphere with plenty of food and beverage stalls, makes the Challenge a perfect outing for the entire family.

Swainson gave the assurance that they, as race organisers, have taken steps to ensure there is no repeat of the water shortages experienced at some water points along the route this year.

“There’s no doubt, we were all caught by surprise by the intense heat and humidity. We’ve made sure there will be enough water for the hottest conditions. We’re also holding a series of water workshops to ensure water points teams are trained to the utmost level. After a thorough review, we’ve taken the decision to cap entries at 10 000 to help us ensure that everyone who enters stays hydrated and are able to safely enjoy this iconic race to the full,” he said.

Runners and cyclists can enter online at www.Deloittechallenge.co.za. For more information about the Deloitte Challenge, prospective entrants should call 061 921 1005 or email deloittechallenge@peaktiming.co.za.

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