More athletes and prize money at 2014 Mandela race

2014-06-13 00:00

A MASSIVE 10 000 athletes will be on the starting line for this year’s Nelson Mandela Day Marathon, double the number that lined up last year.

Less than a year after the death of Mandela and in only its third year, the 2014 Nelson Mandela Day Marathon promises to be bigger and better.

This was announced at the launch of the Mandela Marathon at the Mandela Capture Site near Howick yesterday.

Renowned former Comrades Marathon race director Johan van Staden, now race director of the Mandela Marathon, said the race is growing from strength to strength, attracting more international athletes this year.

“We have been receiving a lot of applications … but due to the logistic challenges will only be catering for 10 000 athletes,” he said.

Van Staden said the 42,2 km marathon was one of the toughest routes for athletes.

Prize money has grown from R300 000 in 2012 to more than R1 million this year and proceeds will go towards charity in line with Mandela’s vision of helping the poor.

The first male and female home will win R50 000 each. Additional prize money will be allocated to honour the first South African and the first KwaZulu-Natal runners to finish the race.

MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomsa Dube-Ncube said the event aimed to remind everyone of the struggle once fought to give South Africans the freedom “that our society at times take for granted”.

“It celebrates the triumph of human spirit and perseverance over intolerance and adversity,” said Dube-Ncube.

She said with a route (from Manaye Hall in Imbali unit 1 to the Mandela Capture Site ) so full of history, runners, walkers and even spectators will find no better way to commemorate and celebrate the life and legacy of their icon.

“The Mandela Marathon has been classified as the marathon in Africa with the most potential to reach grand slam status within a few years and grow to international IAAF standards,” she said.

The MEC said the marathon will boost the economy of the district through domestic and international tourism and investment.

Applications close on July 31 and the race will run on August 31. It will be televised on SABC2.

To apply for the main race is R150 and for all the other races, which includes the 21 km and 10 km, athletes will pay R120. Athletes can still apply at Liberty Midlands Mall and at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.


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