Sixth Nelson Mandela Day Marathon launched

2017-05-24 06:00
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyileAt the official launch of the sixth Nelson Mandela Day Marathon.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyileAt the official launch of the sixth Nelson Mandela Day Marathon.

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KWAZULU-NATAL athletes are invited to enter the sixth Nelson Mandela Day Marathon to be held on August 27 in their numbers.

This year athletes will be vying for a chance to win the R100 000 prize money in the 42km marathon from Imbali to Howick.

Entries officially opened last on 12 May and will close on July 31.

Speaking at the official launch of the Mandela Day Marathon in Howick recently, MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation in KwaZulu-Natal Bongi Sithole-Moloi encouraged KZN athletes to compete.

“Our mission as the department is to be an active and a winning province therefore the participation of KZN athletes in this marathon cannot be enough if we fail to produce winners who come from our province.

“As we call upon all athletes from different parts of the country and the world to register to participate in this marathon, we want to particularly encourage KZN athletes to register in their numbers to increase our chances of producing the majority of winners on all categories. We encourage our athletes to participate and to win.”

Sithole-Moloi said the marathon has grown since its commencement in 2012.

“Since its inception, the Nelson Mandela Day marathon has united people from different backgrounds and has become a flagship event within the capital city and has also generated income for the local businesses and boosted the tourism industry.”

The launch was attended by various other supporting departments including Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the head of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Yase Godlo and the president of the KZN Athletics Sello Mokeona.

Race director Johan Van Staden said the focus for 2017 is to strive for perfection.

“We have had our five years of trial and error and we made a couple of mistakes but as of now we have got a whole set of committees working to ensure we strive for world class standard in 2017.

“Although we are one of the youngest in South Africa, we are growing and our presentation has improved in 2017. If we look at our statistics it’s been constant growth from 2012.”

This year entries will be capped at 15 050. For all races this is up 14,3% from 2012 where it was just 1725.

From an operational point of view Van Staden said the starting times will change slightly this year with the 42 km marathon starting at 6am while the 21.1 km half-marathon, the 10km road race and the 4.66 will all start at 5.30 am.

- Supplied.

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