Dutch twin for Mandela Marathon

2013-04-16 00:00

THE Mandela Marathon held outside Pietermaritzburg received a huge boost on Sunday from the mayor of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb on Sunday pledged “any and all assistance” to help develop the marathon internationally.

The race director of the Rotterdam marathon, Mario Kadiks, has suggested that the two marathons twin up. “This is great news for the marathon,” Ray de Vries, marketing manager of the Mandela Marathon, said from Rotterdam yesterday.

“We have been very well received here and we are busy tying up the loose ends of the co-operation agreement.

“It is a massive boost to have one of the world’s leading marathons not only to back us, but actually get involved with us to help grow the event and get us on the international map”.

uMgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee was delighted with the meeting with Aboutaleb.

“We came here with specific objectives, we aimed high and we are right on track,” said Bhamjee.

“I am delighted with our results so far, South Africa has a long history with the Netherlands and this augurs well for the marathon as well as for our whole region,” he said.

De Vries said: “We see the marathon as a pilgrimage and a tribute to Madiba rather than just a race”.

He said there was a lot of interest in the Mandela Marathon at Rotterdam and he said a number of international runners have already committed to coming to South Africa for the August 25 event.

Last year’s Mandela Marathon started at Manaye Hall in Imbali and ended near Howick at the Mandela Capture Site.

President of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics Sello Mokoena said as the organisers of the Mandela Marathon, they were targeting a worldwide audience and were thrilled about the progress so far.

uMgungundlovu district municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo said they were using the trip to further develop the relationship with Rotterdam.

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