Volunteers pitch in to make PMB’s favourite marathon a success

2014-02-20 00:00

WHILE the eyes of spectators will be firmly on the 5 000 people expected to hit the streets for this weekend’s Witness Maritzburg City Marathon, there are those behind the scenes who have been working to ensure that the 18th edition of the race runs like clockwork.

Led by race director John Hall, between 500 and 600 people will be taking time out of their weekend to play their part in an event that caters for the serious as well as the less capable athletes.

“What makes the race really special is that everybody who gets involved does so voluntarily,” Hall told The Witness.

The volunteers come primarily from local running clubs and businesses, the latter of which have pulled together to set up seven water tables along the route.

The routes for the 21,1 km and 42,2 km Sunday main events are almost identical, with participants in the longer run completing two “laps”.

Both races will start at 5 am, meaning that the volunteers will be on hand from around 3 am.

Starting in Bulwer Street just outside Merchiston School, the route will then move left into Masakwane (East) Street and then left again into Jabu Ndlovu Street where it will continue back across town before taking a left into West Street. Runners will then move towards College Road after crossing the Duzi River on a specially constructed floatable bridge, before they take on the challenging Alexandra Road extensions.

The field will then make their way into Murray Road before heading back towards town — Oribi Road, Ridge Road and Hesketh Drive — where the race will end at the Carbineers Drill Hall.

Both the marathon and the half-marathon will take runners from PMB central through Pelham, Scottsville, Bisley and Hayfields and there will be water stops every three kilometres.

As is always the case in races such as this, members of the public, and drivers in particular, will be inconvenienced and they should plan their weekends according to the approved road closures.


Saturday: Geere Street: Chief Albert Luthuli Street to Millar Street: Full road closure from 5 am.

Sunday: Millar Street: 3 am – 12 pm

Geere Street: 3 am – 12 pm

Braid Street: Geere Street to Prince Alfred Street: 3 am – 12 pm

Bulwer Street: Millar Street to Boshoff Street: 3 am – 12 pm

Bulwer Street: Boshoff Street to Retief Street: 3 am – 7 am

Prince Alfred Street: Residents only: 3 am – 10 am

Jabu Ndlovu Street: Left hand lane: 3 am – 10 am

West Street and College Road: From Jabu Ndlovu to Alexandra roads. Outward bound lanes closed: 3 am – 10 am. Only city-bound traffic permitted.

Park Drive: Between College Road and Princess Margaret Drive: 3 am – 10 am.

Alexandra Road: Lindup Road to College Road: Residents only: 3 am – 10 am

Alexandra Road and Alexandra Road Extension: College Road to Gladys Manzi Road (M50). From Jabu Ndlovu to Alexandra roads. Outward bound lanes closed: 3 am – 10 am. Only city-bound traffic permitted.

Gladys Manzi Road: Alexandra Road Extension to Oribi Road: From Jabu Ndlovu to Alexandra roads. South bound lane closed: 3 am – 10 am.

Oribi Road: Gladys Manzi Road to King Edward Avenue/Ridge Road. Outward bound lanes closed: 3 am – 10 am. Only city-bound traffic permitted.

Ridge Road: King Edward Avenue to Milborrow Road. Residents only. From Jabu Ndlovu to Alexandra roads. Outward bound lanes closed. 3 am – 10 am.

Fairfield Avenue: Residents only: 3 am – 11 am.

Hesketh Drive: From New England Road to Blackburrow Road: The right hand lane of the outward-bound side will be closed: 3 am – 10 am.

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