Historic flame on its way

2012-02-09 00:00

IN a first for Africa the official Marathon Flame will arrive in South Africa from Greece on Wednesday, February 22, as part of the build-up to the 2012 Weekend Witness Maritzburg Marathon. For the last three years the city’s marathon has been the most popular Comrades Marathon qualifier in South Africa.

The flame is the official symbol of the Association of Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and is lit at the Tomb of the Marathon Warriors at which the marathon distance was launched for the first modern Olympics in 1896.

The day after arriving in Durban the Marathon Flame will be relayed up from Durban City Hall by a team of local running legends and personalities.

On February 22 Anthony Clapham, the great- great grandson of the Comrades Marathon founder, Vic Clapham, will be the first of over 30 runners to carry the torch as it begins its journey up to the KZN capital along many of the old and often forgotten Comrades routes. It will burn in a special cauldron in the Carbineers Garden of Peace next to the Pietermaritzburg City Hall

“This is a historic and unique opportunity for the people of KZN to share in the history of the marathon and to see the flame on its first visit to the African Continent,” said John Hall, the Martizburg Marathon race director. “The flame will take around 10 hours to make its way to the City of Choice, and everyone is welcome to come out and see some of the provinces greatest distance runners from the 1960s through to today running the torch up one of the world’s most famous ultra-marathon routes.”

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