Greater Edendale Race celebrates 10 years

2016-11-23 06:00
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association Director Dumisani Mhlongo (left) hands over a certificate of appreciation to Comrades Marathon Association board member, Mqondisi Ngcobo.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association Director Dumisani Mhlongo (left) hands over a certificate of appreciation to Comrades Marathon Association board member, Mqondisi Ngcobo.

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THE 10 years that the Greater Edendale Race has taken place has been a great success.

This was the message relayed by Macdonald Chitja during a media briefing at the Pietermaritzburg Old Prison last Friday to celebrate the 10th running of the race.

The commemorative edition of the Greater Edendale Race took place on Sunday at the FNB Wadley Stadium in Georgetown.

Chitja, the 10km race convener, was reflecting on the journey of the race from when it started in 2006.

“When the race was initiated, we had fewer than a 100 people who came to start and run the race. After that race we sat down and strategised the way forward. We are glad to say this year we expect close to 2 000 participants,” he said.

Chitja said they were particularly proud of the children’s series that is part of the Greater Edendale race.

“For the past three years, the children’s series of the race was adopted by the Association of International Marathons [Aims] as part of its worldwide children’s series.

“The Edendale race is giving a platform for our area, Edendale, to be shown all over the world. Aims is an international association that is formed by people who organise marathons all over the world.

“They gather every year at different cities to look at what is being done by the association and at those gathering, at least for the past three years, we are assured that they talk about Edendale.”

He said the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) adopted the race as a CSI initiative as part of its transformation agenda.

“Comrades for sometime was regarded as that exclusive association, which deals with people who only run for 12 hours. It was never seen as something that is accessible to the community, we have always struggled to be seen as part of the communities we work with. When the proposal was put on the table for us to start a township race we were delighted and welcomed it.”

Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association (MPTA) Director Dumisani Mhlongo said the race promotes Edendale as a tourism destination.

“When MPTA approached the CMA 10 years ago we wanted an annual event to put Edendale on the map. We want to invite people from other parts of town to join in the race to experience the township. We are proud to say there has not been a single incident of crime reported during the race in the past 10 years, which says it is safe to run in Edendale,” said Mhlongo.

The 10th anniversary celebrations of the Greater Edendale Race were combined with the launch of MPTA’s new initiative, the Pietermaritzburg Westgate Tourism Experience.

The initiative is aimed at showcasing the physical attractions to the west of Pietermaritzburg, including the city’s colonial and liberation heritage landmarks, cultural and natural attractions.

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