Maritzburg Marathon registrations surge past 5 000

2016-02-19 10:45
The Witness Maritzburg City Marathon ambassador Sipho Ngxongo with Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela and Eileen Hall, the Marathon official responsible for registration and entries at the press briefing.

The Witness Maritzburg City Marathon ambassador Sipho Ngxongo with Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela and Eileen Hall, the Marathon official responsible for registration and entries at the press briefing. (Thabang Mathebula, The Witness)

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WITH only a week before the iconic Witness Maritzburg City Marathon 2016 gets under way, the tally of participants has exceeded the 5 000 mark.

At a press briefing attended by the race sponsors yesterday, race organiser John Hall announced that a total of 5 054 participants had registered for the marathon which will be taking place between February 26 and 28.

This year’s event will include a Wheelchair Quarter Marathon on Saturday, February 27. The Trail Run, consisting of two options, will take place on the same day, along with the MaraFun runs in the afternoon.

Hall said he was happy that 40% of the participants are women, adding that this number is likely to increase as ­registration for the 10 km race is still open.

The youngest entrant, aged seven years old, has registered for trail running, with three octogenarians in the line-ups, one of them tackling the full marathon.

The new marathon routes have been announced, and only Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street will be completely closed at Chief Albert Luthuli Street (Commercial Road) between 4 am and 12 pm.

However, there will be other partial road closures with access to residents only.

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela urged members of the community to participate in sports as “it improves life expectancy”.

He said the city pledged full support for the marathon as it represents the history of the city and contributes to nation building.

“This marathon removes a substantial number of young people from the streets [as they participate in the race] and is in line with the city’s 2030 vision which promotes sports,” he said.

KZN athletics president Sello Mokoena urged stake holders involved in athletics development to start raising future champions at tender ages at school.

• thabang.mathebula@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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