Mandela Day Marathon entries to open

2016-05-18 06:00
PHOTO:supplied The theme for this year’s Mandela Day Marathon is ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’

PHOTO:supplied The theme for this year’s Mandela Day Marathon is ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’

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REGISTRATION for this year’s Mandela Day Marathon will be on 25 August at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and on 26 and 27 August at the Olympia Hall at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg.

The theme for this year’s race on 28 August is from one of the former president and struggle icon Nelson Mandela’s famous inspirational quotes, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Msunduzi Municipality marketing and communications manager Lungelo Sithole said that participating in the 42.2km race from Imbali to Howick seems impossible, however, the past winners have proved it can be done. “When you start any project achieving your goals seems impossible, but by the moment you take the first step you realise that it can be done. Goals seem impossible when you look at them from far.

“We have met a lot of runners who are scared to run the whole marathon. We would like them to take the bold step and challenge themselves. By the time they finish the 42.2km race they will have a profound appreciation for the heritage that this prestigious race holds,” said Sithole.

He said this year the marathon will be celebrating five years and is expected to host up to 15 000 athletes from over 30 countries.

The race starts at the Manayi Hall where Mandela delivered his last speech in 26 March, 1961 before his arrest near Howick the following year on August 5

Sithole stated that many athletes who in the past participated in the 42.2km race have said that the “Struggle Hill” is the toughest point of the race. The most difficult years of Madiba’s political life are symbolised by this eight-kilometre steep stretch, said Sithole in a statement.

Entries for the competition close on 31 July and there will be no date extensions. There will be 15 refreshment stations catering for athletes’ needs.

“Various sponsors have come on board for the 2016 Mandela Day Marathon and all dietary requirements will be met. The refreshment portfolio will be led by John Hall well known in the road running fraternity assisted by 400 volunteers to distribute 60 tons of refreshments to the more than 10 000 participants.

About 250kg biscuits, 300kg chocolates, 90kg Energellies, 30kg potato crisps, 250kg bananas, 20 pockets of potatoes, 55 pockets of oranges, 20kg salt, 40 000 litres of water in sachets and 500ml bottles, 3 000 litres of energy drink in sachets, 7 000kg ice, 8 000 litres of Coca-Cola and 70 000 cardboard Coca-Cola cups will be handed to athletes,” said Sithole.

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