Mandela prison race next month

2017-01-19 06:01
 Winners Zintle Xiniwe and Duane Fortuin with their trophy - a replica of Madiba’s shoes in bronze. Entry forms for the race are available at various Sportsman’s Warehouse shops around the city.

Winners Zintle Xiniwe and Duane Fortuin with their trophy - a replica of Madiba’s shoes in bronze. Entry forms for the race are available at various Sportsman’s Warehouse shops around the city.

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Runners across the country are hard at work preparing for the eighth instalment of the 27 For Freedom Race taking place on February 11 in Paarl.

The race marks the 27th anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela’s historic release from the then Victor Verster Prison (now Drakenstein Correctional Services) and his internationally acclaimed and revered ‘walk to freedom’ after 27 years in prison.

The race will especially be significant since it will take place on Saturday, 11 February 2017, exactly 27 years to the day that the great Nelson R. Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa and father of our democracy, had walked from prison as a free person.

This date will also represent exactly 27-years that Madiba would have spent both sides of the prison bars and 27-years since his release from prison – from his incarceration in October 1963, his subsequent life imprisonment on 12 June 1964 and his eventual and world-famous release on 11 February 1990.

“It is against this background that a series of activities will take place, from Saturday 4th February 2017 to Sunday 12th February 2017 with the aim to signify Madiba’s triumph which essentially encapsulating man’s ability to transform hardship into hope, obstacles into opportunities and tribulation into triumph,” said organiser Warren Lodge.

He said the 27 For Freedom Race and associated events strove towards building sustainable relationships across all government spheres, corporate South Africa and our community at large.

“The objective is to forge sustainable partnerships with civil society and corporate SA alike, through meaningful contributions which resonate with the nature of their business and the values of a free and democratic society,” he said.

“I have always believed that exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind” Nelson Mandela

This race is no doubt the highlight of the week-long program and will take place exactly 27-years to the day that Nelson Mandela walked through the gates at the then Victor Verster Prison.

The race enjoys the endorsements of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Sexwale Foundation, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).

The 2017-event was also boosted with the announcement by the President of the Confederation of African Athletics and Vice President of the IAAF, the honourable Mr Hamad Kalkaba Malboum that he will attend the event in person.

The 27 for Freedom Race is furthermore a member of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Running (AIMS). Two representatives of the race recently attended the AIMS conference in Athens, Greece and actively lobbied for more foreign participation.

The event is however more than just an athletic event - it is a family gathering opportunity with a strong nation-building agenda.

Much effort has therefore been put in to create a carnival atmosphere, from food- and novelty stalls, a kiddies corner to a 6-hour long music festival. “No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should e judged by how it treats its its lowest citizens.” Nelson Mandela


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