New closing date for Mandela race

2013-07-05 00:00

DUE to huge demand, the closing date for registration for the Mandela Day Marathon has been pushed back by a month.

With already 2 000 entries received, Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube said they wanted to grow the event, which would take place for the second time on August 25.

“We plan to grow this marathon so that it becomes the biggest among its league and can occupy a prime spot in the Guinness Book of Records,” Dube said at the 42,2 km race’s launch at the Nelson Mandela Capture site outside Howick yesterday.

She said it was significant that the marathon was launched in the same month that Mandela celebrated his birthday. “I trust that every one of us will be inspired to join the global volunteer movement by dedicating time and doing something positive to effect a better change in someone’s life, thereby making the world a better place.”

The marathon is also set to be broadcast live on SABC, Dube announced, and added that the prizes for this year’s race had been increased from R235 000 to R500 000.

The race would start at the Manayi Hall in Imbali and finish at the capture site.

uMngeni Mayor Mbali Myeni told The Witness that they appreciated the help they got from the provincial government in hosting the race.

“It’s going to be very beneficial to the residents of uMngeni,” Myeni said.

Urging people to take part in the race, the mayor said she was exercising and preparing to run in the 10 km race that starts at the Howick stadium.

Dube announced that ambassadors for the race would be Bruce Fordyce, Makhosi Khoza, Willie Mtolo, Phindi Gule, Linda Sibiya and Alex Mthiyane.

Fordyce, who is nursing a knee injury, said he would be running in his second Mandela Day Marathon. “I wouldn’t run such a hard race at a time that marathons are not normally run if it wasn’t Mandela’s race,” he said, adding that he hoped it would become a race that runners from all over the world would strive to run.

On what Mandela meant to him personally, Fordyce said: “I’ve met him a few times and he is an inspiration and sets a great example. Whenever I’m about to do something I’m ashamed of, I ask myself, ‘what would Mandela do?’.”

Due to his injury, Fordyce said he knows he won’t run a great time or be a contender, but he aimed to finish.

Winners of the 42,2 km race, both men and women, each take home R40 000, second place R25 000 and third place R18 000. For the 10 km race, the top three prizes are R5 000, R4 000 and R3 500.

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