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Township to Township Marathon 27 September 2015

Fast Way AC and @CraigsAthletes had a very good day with a Podium Sweep n the Mens Race, Munya Jari 1st, Wilson Kibet 2nd and Ezekiel Tarus 3rd. IN the ladies Marathon Peris Jepkorir was 1st and in the Mens 21.1km Kenneth Cheriuyot was 1st and Benard Chebasa was in the top 10. we have always done well at T2T and this year was just phenomenal for us. Am super proud of the athletes for a great day and thank you to our partners in that of Sziols (Eyewear) 32GI, TruRays Quality Vehicles (Cars) and Brooks Running for shoes

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Sponsorship and Athletes

Following a post wrote ( it was suggested that a further post be written on the above subject. This may be a bit hard hitting but if we are to make a difference one needs to say it like it is and I can only write from my point of view and experiences. This will deal with sponsorship in the most direct way I can.

Firstly lets define a sponsorship in the South African context for athletes, in my opinion. – Running for a professional club, you would get a contract from them. Most clubs term this contract as a sponsorship contract. I beg to differ – it is not a sponsorship contract but more of an “employment” contract. But the club words the contract as a “Sponsorship” so they dont have to apply to the strict labour laws of the country.  The club has their sponsors that you as an athlete will benefit from, which sponsors provide finance, product etc which is then filtered to the team members based on how good each one is individually. There are obligations and rules you have to follow from the club perspective which you abide by and then you are supported as per this contract. My biggest gripe with these contracts is that athletes all agree to this without asking questions or looking after their own personal rights.
A club will have a sponsor who has rights with the club, who are then allowed to make use of the clubs athletes for their marketing purposes. What should happen in this instance is – The sponsor can use the athletes image appearing in club colours, but there should be 3 or more athletes in the picture to warrant as a team sponsor, but if the athlete is pictured alone in the advertisement or picture this does not constitute a club appearance but is actually infringing on being seen as a personal endorsement by the athlete for the club sponsor.
Personal Sponsors
Why do some of our top athletes struggle with personal sponsorship? Firstly we have to know what companies want, and then can unpack the rest

1. Exposure. A company will measure what they get in return. Company X gives product or cash to the value of X and they expect to receive a minimum of Y which is generally 3 times more than what they give. This is the yard stick they would use. This exposure is based on Media time, be it newspapers, TV, magazine or Social Media that you are able to drive as the athlete
They will also look at what they have to spend from their side to market their association with the athlete. So if they spend R100 on sponsorship they will probably have to spend an additional R300 telling people from their side they sponsor the athlete. As well as some additional costs like production of an advertisement, for TV, Magazine, billboard etc. So typically when you ask for R100 they will have to look at the budget and say they need at least R500 and will they get the returns in exposure they want or need.

The above two are main points to consider.
A very important part is – Do you appeal to the company’s target market, ie: if they sponsor you would this equate to sales of the product for the company which then takes care of the say R400, therefore not negatively affecting the bottom line for shareholders. As an athlete do you have the right image for them to generate the sales. Companies don’t want to spend on something they cannot recover.

One thing that many forget or don’t take into account – In general, Sponsorship of an individual is not a quick fix, it’s a long term association that is part of brand building so ideally when “Joe public” see you they think of the brand. That’s the end goal. Too many think that sponsoring one person for a year will show major returns. This only happens in in extreme cases, like winning an Olympic Games event or that type of profile event. Lots of immediate media hype and then it dies down.
The problem we have in SA based on the two points above is that there has not been many high profile events, and it was always only Comrades and the second Two Oceans as these were races that received TV coverage where the easy TV time and easy exposure was to be had. Essentially with only these two races having TV time it actually killed the sponsorship market if you were not a Comrades or Two Oceans athlete. In the 80s track and field got a lot of TV time but this is almost non-existent these days from a local point. But things are looking better from that side in that there are now Marathon distance races such as Cape Town, Soweto, Mandela that receive live TV, and others such as Gauteng (2012-2014), Petro SA, Ethkweni that receive recorded TV, as well as Legends Marathon 68km that has Live TV. This is opening the door for corporate SA to start looking into supporting our athletes.
Then there is the issue of results and performance – One needs to win the big races. You can go and win all the smaller races around all year, this does not mean you will get a sponsor. So you must be able to deliver top results at big events.

Are you a professional? Companies will also look at how you conduct yourself when you are not in training or at competition. They look at how you conduct your everyday life. Who do you align yourself with what do you do when not running? How do you portray yourself in public? What do you post on Social Media – In this day in age plays a significant part of our everyday life in showing the public who we are or what we are. Social Media is a major, when company X sponsors you, you cannot say “Like” a FB post by an opposition company. That’s just not right. If company X does not sponsor you, why wear anything branded by them. A company used to sponsor some of my athletes and when they pulled out, I simply covered their logos on any clothing until we got a new sponsor.
Are you responsible? Companies don’t want to associate with irresponsible people its bad for their image. When you take on a sponsor you are ultimately representing the company in everything you do, not only on competition but everything you do.
Bottom line is – Know what you are worth as an athlete – don’t accept something just because someone wants to give you something as a “Freebie.”

One thing to always remember – When you wear a companies logo – that logo will be with you for life, in that I mean that photos will be taken of you and these last a life time. So whilst a sponsorship may end the photos will always be in cyber space and can and always will be seen even years after a deal comes to an end. So choose carefully and always give more than you get.

I am contacted each week by +20 new athletes from countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana etc and all these guys want is an opportunity to race. We in SA are spoilt for race as there are probably 15 races every weekend around the country. Yes not all are big paying races but we have. These guys from the Rest of Africa only want an opportunity to prove themselves. In general all most ask for is a pair of shoes so they can do their “job” and will look at race winning for their income and then once they have proved themselves will look at contracts etc. But we in SA and this is not all athletes but a large majority all want retainers, shoes, supplements, clothing, travel before any results are posted. We say give me these things then I will produce. NO NO NO – Produce first and then you will get. What is producing – Guys and Girls – a top athlete is not a man that can run a 2H20 Marathon or a lady with 2H50, those times are just not even on the radar in world terms. Yes in SA race organisers don’t always have courses to run fast times so this need to change. You can go to Ethiopia or Kenya to training session – I can assure you form the 300 athletes that are there, there will be 150 men that have run under 2H10 in the last year and 100 ladies under 2H40. But they don’t have contacts and sponsors, but they are producing fast times, so until we as South Africans get away from “give me first” and then I will show you we will never attract the big sponsors.

Sponsors are few and far between and very difficult to get – We generated over R2M in 2 days at a race in Social Media exposure alone. I look at one of my athletes that has won Comrades – He alone through press interviews and the work that is done on Social Media behind the scenes on his behalf, around him the week of Comrades, and the TV time he generally generates from race day averages at over R25M media coverage. But he hasn’t got the Million rand deals! It is one thing to generate exposure but another one to marry this with the right corporate.

My advice – When you get a sponsor – Look after them, give them a good return, but don’t accept for the sake of having a freebie.

You have a value! Don’t undersell yourself!!! Work hard in training and deliver consistent and good results.

Before you sign ANY contract read the complete contract – Not just what you will be paid – read the terms and I always tell athletes take the contract to someone who is knowledgeable to get advice before signing. Even when i give management contracts to new athletes i ask them to have someone else read it and give them comment and then come back to me for any items that need clarification or further discussion. Only when all are 100% happy sign it!

Fanzeal: Taking sports fans deeper by connecting them directly w/ athletes

Fanzeal: Taking sports fans deeper by connecting them directly w/ athletes


Fanzeal: Taking sports fans deeper by connecting them directly w/ athletes

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Legends Marathon Wellness Expo 2015

Legends Marathon Wellness Expo 2015

2015 sees the launch of the Legends Marathon Wellness Expo, to be held over three days, between 28 September and 02 October 2015, at the Osner Hotel, East London Beachfront, and sets the stage for the Legends Marathon 2015. The venture is in partnership with Kat Leisure, who is the marathon’s Expo and accommodation partner.

The event will attract athletes, families and friends to the precinct whose capacity is just under 4000.

In the third instalment of the Legends Marathon events, it is expected that some 10000 athletes, both professional and local, international and South African, will line up at the start of the events. Legends Marathon comprises a series of events; namely a 68 km ultra-marathon, a 21.1km half-marathon, and a 5 km fun run. The events will take place on 03 October 2015, and entries are open at for online booking.

The implementation of the Wellness Expo seeks to cement the ideal of health, healthy living and a sense of community; characteristics that Legends Marathon has made its own.

The Legends Marathon, now in its third year, provides the missing link in the repositioning of the Eastern Cape as the Home of Legends; a link that puts the province on the calendar of international athletic meetings, provides television coverage on free-to-air television, creates jobs, and injects the necessary economic and tourism boost to the province.

The Legends Marathon celebrates the legendary spirit of the Eastern Cape, its icons of the struggle, individuals, physical and spiritual beacons which marked the route to freedom, identified by the people themselves.

The two big marathons in South Africa i.e. Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans respectively, attract a combined number of over 40 000 participants. The Two Oceans Half Marathon accounts for over 25 000 of this figure.

International athletes come from 59 countries from around the globe; this shows just how popular South Africa is as a sports Tourism destination. The Eastern Cape will benefit from this goodwill and the Legends Marathon is a sure game changer in this regard. The Legends Marathon is now an approved qualifying event for both races. This means some of the participants in the two events will use the Legends Marathon as a qualifying race. This helps boost the number of visitors to the Eastern Cape. The Wellness Expo is designed primarily to embrace these numbers. The inaugural event will attract about 4000 people in the 1st year.

The staging of the Legends Marathon in the Eastern Cape achieves the following :

• Positions the Eastern Cape as an event as one of the top event destinations in SA

• Job creation, and human resources are up-skilled.

• Direct and indirect spend is a catalyst for further economic development.

• Donor and sponsor funding is channeled internally.

• Creates a platform for subsequent legacy funding opportunities

• Encourages return tourism visits to the province which, in turn, creates more jobs

• Improves domestics tourism and promotes associated local tourism products

Development Opportunities for PDI’s

Services to be implemented and their relevance to the staging of the marathon, include food stalls, ablution, photographic, catering, printing, marquees, transport, security.

Food Stalls: A number of food vendors will be selected to sell food to the public. All these vendors will be assisted to comply with the BCMM Health and Fire regulations.

Ablution Facilities: The event requires use of these facilities and will be sourced from local PDI’s, Janitors will be on duty throughout the event to service these. All these will be sourced locally.

Photographer: A professional photographer will be appointed to capture the activities on the day, both still and motion photogra­phy

Catering Services: These services are provided from about a week before the event as experts, media crews arrived in the province to prepare logistics for the event. During the expo and the race a number of catering companies are hired for different groups of stake holders i.e. media, administrators, athletes, VIP’s etc.

Printing: Printing services for our marketing materials, signage, administrative support documents, Accreditation Cards etc. will be sourced, all using local small businesses.

Marquees: Marquees erected for the expo, SABC, Media, Athletes Tent and emergency Services are sourced locally. All marquees are issued with the required Engineer’s Safety Certificates.

Transport: Taxis and buses will be hired to transport athletes from the expo to local hotels and Jan Smuts Stadium.

Security Guards: A local security company will be appointed to secure all the equipment and belongings of the exhibitors whilst ensuring the safety of the visitors to the expo. They will also assist with parking, security functions and will also act as marshals. etc.

For exhibitors and visitors convenience an ATM is situated at Spar shopping complex diagonally across from the expo.

Ambulance services will be on site throughout the Expo.

An exhibitor lounge is available at the Hotel Osner throughout the show. Exhibitors will be able to catch up on emails, have a light snack or enjoying the beautiful view.

For more on how you can be a part of this iconic initiative, please contact The Marathon’s offices via telephone 043 735 1032 or email:

With the subject heading “Legends Marathon Wellness Expo”

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#LegendsMarathon Ultra 68KM & 21km back for 3rd instalment – It’s about community!

The third instalment of the Eastern Cape’s most prestigious road running event, the Legends Marathon,  will be held on 03 October 2015. The event consists of a 68km ultra marathon, which is run from Bhisho to East London; a 21km half marathon, which starts and finishes at the Jan Smuts Stadium, in East London, and a 5km fun run. With prize money on offer at over a staggering R1million, this event promises to be one of the highlights of the running season.  No stone has been left unturned to ensure that the experience is an unforgettable one for professional and recreational athletes.  Additional Metro have been commissioned to ensure the safety of athletes and spectators alike. The inaugural running of the ultra marathon was won by Zimbabwean Collen Makaza, in a time of 3.50.36, a record which still stands today.  The ladies’ race was won by Fikile Mbuthuma in a time of 5.09.38.  In 2014 the ultra marathon was won by Marko Mambo, also Zimbabwean.  Both men are set to return to Legends this year to claim the gold, amidst a top field of local and international athletes. Enter online at Legends Marathon before 30 August to qualify for an early bird discount.

Legends Ultra Marathon & 21km Entries now open!

Legends Ultra Marathon & 21km Entries now open!

Results September Races – South Africa

September was one crazy month with races almost every weekend across South Africa. A 3 month build up in organising athletes travel, visas, invitations, accommodations and schedules is all now in the past.

I can sit back now and reflect that we did not have it all our own way, and yes there were some setbacks in some arrangements, but when you have +-25 athletes going to be traveling in and out of SA from 4 different countries over a 5 week period there are bound to be some technical issues. In the end I can say that I am really pleased with the results and achievements from the athletes that attended the races.


Mandela Day Marathon and 10km

Munya Jari – won 2 hot spots in Marathon
Firegent Ayalew – 3rd 10km Ladies
Gauteng Marathon – 07 September 2014

Fayera Dadi – 2nd Men Marathon
Melly Kennedy – 5th Men Marathon
Florence Jepkosgei – 1st Ladies Marathon – New Record
Woldemichael Anaylum – 6th Ladies Marathon – on debut
Aurellia Rutto – 12th Ladies Marathon – on debut
Cape Town Marathon and 10km – 21 September

Ghirmay Tukabo – 6th Men 10km
Melka Mulu – 6th Ladies Marathon – On debut
Aurelia Rutto – 4th Ladies 10km
Petro SA Marathon and 21.1km – Mossel Bay

David Barmasai Tumo – 1st Men Marathon – New Record
Sufa Chala – 2nd Men Marathon – Also under record time
Munya Jari – 4th Men Marathon – Setting a new PB by 8 minutes
Ghirmay Tukabo – 6th Men Marathon
Aurellia Rutto – 6th Ladies marathon – New PB
Firegenet Ayalew – 3rd Ladies 21.1km
Benard Koech – Jnr Category 21.1km
Ethkweni Marathon / Township to Township – Durban

Melly Kennedy – 1st Men Marathon
Legends Marathon 68km and 21.1km

Stephen Muzhingi – DNF 68km Men
Benard Koech – 1st Jnr 21.1km
Aurellia Rutto – 3rd Ladies 21.1km
Firegenet Ayalew – 2nd Ladies 21.1km
Ghirmay Tukabo – 5th Men 21.1km

All in all a decent month and I can say that I am very pleased for the athletes as each one achieved and improved in their own way. As they say “Rome was not built in a day” so we will continue to grow and improve each and every time we race.

A major thank you goes out to

Cuan Walker: of Ma1xed Elite for assisting with footwear and providing Accommodation for the athletes at some of the races.

Adidas SA – Phil Venter and Adrian De Souza – For their continued support for providing footwear and kit for asthletes

Intercape: For providing internal luxury coach transfers around SA for the athletes

32GI: Mark Wolff for his constant advice on supplementation and product support

BarlowWorld Ford PMB: For providing necessary vehicles for us

Craig Jordan: For supporting Firegenet and Assisting us

Gashem Travel and Tours: For providing necessary international travel for Ethiopian Athletes

Mashel Travel and Tours: For providing necessary international travel for Kenyan Athletes


A selection of photos from the races. More to follow…….


Ghirmay warming up before CT 10km

Ghirmay warming up before CT 10km

Firegent & Melka Mulu

Firegent & Melka Mulu

Cape Town 10km Start

Cape Town 10km Start

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Top Names for PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay 2014, David Barmasai Tumo of Kenya (21.1km) has the fastest time on start line CT Marathon while SA’s Jenna Challenor to make marathon debut

Top Names for PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay 2014, David Barmasai Tumo of Kenya (21.1km) has the fastest time on start line CT Marathon while SA’s Jenna Challenor to make marathon debut

Top Names for PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay 2014, David Barmasai Tumo of Kenya (21.1km) has the fastest time on start line of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, while SA’s Jenna Challenor to make marathon debut at PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay 2014

A star-studded field will line up at the various starts in the PetroSA Marathon, held in Mossel Bay, on 27 September 2014. In their quest to achieve IAAF Bronze Label status, the Race Organizing Committee and Title Sponsors, PetroSA, have left no stone unturned to ensure that the participants of each event on all levels are accommodated according to world class standards.

A brief look at the top class field reveals almost household names, not only in Africa, but in the world, as professional long-distance athletes with impeccable credentials and pedigree align themselves to run in the 42.2km, 21.1km and 10 km races in the beautiful seaside town of Mossel Bay, South Africa.

Join PetroSA Marathon on Twitter and Facebook for updates and race information, as well as sharing your stories of inspiration with us.

Donnette #Randomness

Top Names for PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay 2014, David Barmasai Tumo of Kenya (21.1km) has the fastest time on start line of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, while SA’s Jenna Challenor to make marathon debut at PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay 2014

A star-studded field will line up at the various starts in the PetroSA Marathon, held in Mossel Bay, on 27 September 2014.  In their quest to achieve IAAF Bronze Label status, the Race Organizing Committee and Title Sponsors, PetroSA, have left no stone unturned to ensure that the participants of each event on all levels are accommodated according to world class standards.

A brief look at the top class field reveals almost household names, not only in Africa, but in the world, as professional long-distance athletes with impeccable credentials and pedigree align themselves to run in the 42.2km, 21.1km and 10 km races in the beautiful seaside town of Mossel…

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PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay, Updated Information, seeking African History IAAF Bronze Label Status

A Fantastic race that one has to run.

Donnette #Randomness

The PetroSA Marathon, Mossel Bay, takes place on September 27, 2014, commencing at Santos Caravan Park, Mosselbay, Western Cape South Africa, on 42.2km, 21km and 10km courses around the beautiful seaside town of Mossel Bay. The marathon and related events form part of the Mossel Bay Sports Festival 2014. A very strong contingent of African athletes, representing no less than 5 African countries, is expected to take to the start lines.

This year the event incorporates the ASWD 42.2km trials. The media launch is to be held on 14 August 2014, details to follow.

This race is strictly PRE-ENTRY. Late Entries will be taken on Friday 26 September from 14:00 to 21:00. Registration and collection of race packs on Friday 26 September from 14:00 to 21:00 & on Saturday 27 September 05:30 to 06:50. Fun Run entries on Saturday 27 September 2014 only. Enter online at

What is new…

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GB Trail Running Champion- yippee!

Another fantastic Achievement by Jo – Great Britain Champion

Support of an Athlete – Food for Thought

Since November 2013 where I wrote a piece, “Sponsorship in all the Wring Places” there has been little movement with the likes of Sanlam taking the Title Sponsorship of the Cape Town Marathon and Petro SA increasing their sponsorship of the Petro SA Marathon in Mossel Bay, which is great as this has allowed for these two races to make application for IAAF Gold and Bronze Label status for 2015. These will be the first two Labeled races in South Africa which is fantastic for the sport.

Having bigger race sponsors is great as this elevates these races into the International fold of distance running. This also attracts International Athletes to our shores to come and compete. There is Investec who are involved with a training and development project organized, managed and run by Elana Meyer. Fastway Couriers, Toyota SA and Adidas support some of my contracted athletes.

So there has been some improvement and “new blood” so to speak starting to support running in South Africa, but there are huge mountains to climb.

Its one thing to elevate the races which will encourage athletes to improve and to work harder to win these races, but there is still a huge gap with regards to supporting these athletes to be able to be in a position to train harder, better and more efficiently.

South African spectators are renowned for being hard task masters and expect our sportsmen to win every time they compete, and yes, I expect this too and yes we give our all every time we are competing. But as a person watching the event, take half a minute to sit back and think of what has it taken the athlete to get into that position to compete at that level. I can tell you athletics is not like F1 or SARU, or Kaizer Chiefs that you see, and I can assure you that 99% of the athletes are there from skimping and scraping every cent they have or don’t have, just to have the opportunity to be in the competition. Which is incredibly sad actually.

Here are some figures as an example and to be honest this isn’t really major money that is required in terms of support for an athlete to be able to be given basic living expenses to be able to train stress free in order for him / her to achieve great results. These are actual costs and are accurate.

This is based on 8 athletes training and staying: 1. Kenya and 2. South Africa

Question: How much do you think the following will cost you?
1. Housing Rental for 8 people for 12 Months
2. Basic Food athletes require for 8 people for 12 months
3. Water & Electricity – 12 months
4. Training support – 12 months
5. Housekeeper – 12 months

Answer: –
Kenya: ZAR120 000 per annum / +-USD11 400. (ZAR 10 000 PM or +-USD 950 PM)
South Africa: ZAR 185 000m per annum / +- USD17 620. (ZAR 15 416 PM or +-USD 1470 PM)

Excluded from this would be that of racing requirements and this could cost for the 8 athletes as maximum of ZAR100 000 PA. This more than takes care of Race entries, accommodations, and travel to races. +-USD 9 520 PA.

Food for thought :-

So all in all an average company could support 8 athletes full time per annum without this even effecting the bottom line on their annual earnings / profit margins, as these expenses for a company to a large extend can be Tax deductible, and any good tax practitioner will be able to offset these expenses under Business travel, Rentals, Social responsibility, donations etc etc. There are many ways to get tax breaks from “sponsorship” where companies would simply pay the tax over to the Revenue Services. So why do companies not look at using these type of funds to the greater good in helping someone else out.

Yes the taxman may not be that happy with this, but he makes the rules and one simply plays within the rules, and ultimately these funds a company pays out, stays in the revenue system and the Taxman will still get his portion anyway.
When a company does this, they gain by having various commercial rights and these can be anything from branding, naming rights etc and are able to sue the athletes in any marketing or like campaigns. Brand Exposure!!!!!!!

So whilst there are those starting to see the light in athletics, just know that it does not cost an arm and a leg to support athletes, and you don’t have to be the biggest company in the stock exchange to be involved in sponsoring or supporting athletes.

Lets say Company “X” is sponsoring an event as a naming rights sponsor, what I cant understand is why don’t their competitors sponsor a professional athlete and get some “competitive” advertising. Therefore wherever company “X” is using say the image of the athlete winning the race and company “Y” has logo branding on the athletes vest they will get the exposure and association from their competitor paying the big money where company “Y” paid a portion as they sponsor the athlete, and this does not contravene any competitive advertising laws.

In closing this piece, I say that companies in SA and their advertising agencies need to think out the box and look for opportunities as they are there and easily available.

Finally a big Up and well done to Sanlam and Petro SA for seeing the value in Athletics and getting involved. Awesome


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