Champion marathon athlete, Gloria Baebo, is to run the fourth and final leg of the world’s most lucrative athletics race in Hong Kong this Sunday (March 4).
The Standard Chartered Greatest Race on Earth, a tough four-leg relay marathon being run in four countries over a five month period carries total cash prizes of $1,5 million.
Pretoria-based Baebo is in the South African team competing in the Women’s Challenge category with cash prizes totaling $200 000.The winners are calculated on the cumulative times of the four participating athletes. The team is also eligible for the Performance Awards with prizes of $55 000.
Billed as “the harbour race” due to the city’s landmark feature, it follows a course across the city, between skyscrapers, culminating in a punishing five kilometre climb to the finish line.
Baebo has followed a comprehensive training programme in the lead up to the race and her coach and manager, Nick Bester, himself a former Comrades winner, expects his charge to do well: ”We are expecting her to finish in a time of between 2:45 or 2:50,” he said.
“Gloria finished the Soweto Marathon in November last year in second position and that is a course with a hilly component. Also, she has the advantage of youth; she’s the youngest of the four South African team members, and when you’re younger you definitely have more speed!”
Farwa Mentoor completed the first leg in Nairobi in ninth position, the same position in which Louisa Leballo crossed the finishing line in the third leg run in Mumbai.
Riana van Niekerk’s position in the second leg in Singapore has yet to be confirmed by race organisers due to a technical glitch resulting from a faulty microchip in her running shoe, as does the official placing of the team going into the fourth and final leg of the Greatest Race.