Road running is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road (as opposed to track and cross country running). These events would be classified as long distance according to athletics terminology, with distances typically ranging from 5 kilometers to 42.2 kilometers in the marathon. They may involve large numbers of runners or wheelchair entrants.

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers miles and (385 yards), that is usually run as a road race. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon (the namesake of the race) to Athens.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are contested throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes. Larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants.
Source: Wikipedia
Final team to represent South Africa in Barcelona
A final team of 31 athletes have been announced to represent South Africa at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain from 10-15 July 2012. The team consist of 14 male and 17 female athletes.

The team is a good mix of experienced athletes and some newcomers to the World Championships. Athletes such as Gerhard de Beer (discus throw) and Morne Moolman (Javelin throw) have won medals at the World Youth Championships in 2011, while others such as Duwayne Boer, Pieter Conradie, Jan-Louw Kotze and Fana Mofokeng also competed.

Amongst the women, seven of the athletes have experience competing at the World Championships. They are Liezl Hechter, Lezaan Jordaan, Thato Makhafola, Izelle Neuhoff, Janet Seeliger, Philippa van der Merwe and Stephanie Wicksell.

Duwayne Boer won the youth long jump at the Yellow Pages SA Schools and Junior Championships in Germiston with a leap of 7.68m, a massive improvement on his previous best of 7.20m at the World Youth Championships in France in 2011. Boer is one of three talented youth athletes included in the team, the others being Julia Du Plessis in the high jump and new SA 800m Youth Record holder, Monique Stander.
Van Blerk to run marathon in London
When Irvette van Blerk crossed the line in 2:33.41 at the London Marathon on Sunday 22 April, 2012, she not only qualified for the Olympic Games, but also ensured that South Africa will be sending a three strong team in both the men's and women's races. This will be first time that South Africa sends a full complement in both the men's and women's team for the marathon.

We are delighted about Irvette's run today in London, said Athletics SA President, James Evans from Seregno, Italy where he attended an IAU Congress. With her qualification, we are for the first time sending a 3 men and 3 women to an Olympics. In fact this will be the first time in the history of South African athletics that there are three women representing South Africa at an Olympic Marathon. It shows that we are entering a new era of women's long distance running and the future is looking very promising. Van Blerk started off conservatively in what is effectively her debut marathon. The 24 year-old had started the Soweto Marathon in 2011 but was forced to pull after a bad fall within the first 5km of the race. Van Blerk clocked 17:27 at 5km, 35:24 for 10km and went through halfway in 75:18 - running well within herself. Van Blerk found herself in 15th position by 35km but fell back to 18th when she crossed the line. Van Blerk now joins Rene Kalmer (2:29.59 - Yokohama 2011) and Tanith Maxwell (2:36.57 - Rotterdam) in the team.

Van Blerk to run marathon in London
Monique Stander breaks 25-year old youth record
Amongst the celebrations of Caster Semenya booking her berth in London, 17 year-old Monique Stander's performance in the 800m at the Yellow Pages III meeting in Pretoria on 20 April, went unnoticed. Stander crossed the line in 2:02.57 to break the 2:02.71 clocking of Corne Viljoen back in 1987.
SA Marathon Record Holder breaks World Age Group Record
The South African Marathon record holder Gert Thys smashed the world best performance for 50km for the 40+ age group at the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon on Saturday, 7 April 2012. Crossing the 50km mark in 2:48:40 on the way to the 56km finish, Thys took near 5 min off the current record of 2:53:21.

Thys, 41, finished fourth behind Stephen Muzhingi (ZIM), Henry Moyo (KEN) and Collen Makaza (ZIM). The womenŐs race was won by Elena Nurgalieva (RUS), with countrywoman Natalia Volgina second and American Devon Crosby-Helms in third place. First South African woman was Adinda Kruger.

Athletics South Africa does note with concern the fact that the finish gantry collapsed. Fortunately there are no reported injuries. The organisers will be called upon to explain how this was able to happen, especially after bad weather had been forecast. more

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