Last call for Mandela Day runners

2014-08-01 00:00

THOSE who missed yesterday’s deadline for entering the Mandela Day Marathon may still have a chance.

This was announced by marathon race director Johan van Staden yesterday.

However, he said this was subject to the number of entries they received.

“We will be extending the deadline to August 11 if we have not reached the 6 000 entries which we are hoping to get in this year’s race,” he said.

Van Staden said entries were coming in, in numbers, and they had already secured 60 pro-athletes, 37 of whom are international athletes.

He said they will have 2 000 children running a 10 km marathon on Saturday before the main 42,2 km full marathon to encourage development.

“This year we have introduced a 21,1 km half-way marathon which has attracted a number of people who showed interest in it and we believe that this will be the most popular 21,1 km [race] in the country,” he added.

Van Staden said the 42,2 km main race will be run by 3 500 athletes. It is the hardest route in South Africa to compete in, but athletes were motivated to do it for Mandela.

The Mandela Day Marathon route covers the Imbali and Edendale townships and moves through Sweetwaters, into Hilton, through Cedera, past Midmar Dam and into Howick. The race ends at the Mandela Capture Site in Tweedie.

The steepest part of the run is the first 20 km up to Hilton.

Van Staden said the community will be involved and will ensure a clean route.

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