Defending champions David Manja and Kesa Molotsane will defend their titles at the ASA Cross Country Championships in Potchefstroom on Saturday, 9 September 2017.
Manja leads host province, Athletics Central North West, to face a strong challenge from a line-up which includes last year's silver and bronze medallists, Precious Mashele and Joel Mmone in the Senior Men 10km race.
Other contenders include national 5 000m champion Thabang Mosiako, former World Student Games 1 500m bronze medallist Jerry Motsau and South African 3 000m Steeplechase champion Rantso Mokopane.
Meanwhile, in-form athlete Molotsane will be eager to stamp her authority in the off-road discipline after dominating the local distance running circuits on the road and track this season.
Molotsane, who won the 5 000m title at the ASA Senior Championships in Potchefstroom in April, is up against national 10 000m champion Glenrose Xaba, who finished second in the Women 10km contest at the domestic Cross Country spectacle in George last year.
The senior women's entry list also includes experienced marathon runners Cornelia Joubert and Catherine Skhosana.
Over 3 700 athletes have entered the annual ASA Cross Country Championships, which starts at 7.45am on Saturday at NWU-Pukke Sports Fields.
Prize money will be awarded to the top six men and women in senior and junior categories.
There will also be a mixed relay contest, with prizes on offer for the first three places and a trophy for the winning squad.
"Cross country is the foundation of middle and long distance running, so we are pleased to have so many entries at this year’s championships," says Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.
"While there is no IAAF World Cross Country Championships next year, this event will play a key role in preparing athletes to compete against the world's best at major international events in 2018 such as the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Valencia in March and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April.
"We are expecting some exciting races this weekend, so good luck to all participants."
Issued By: ASA