Urban run gives city, charity new lease on life

2016-09-14 06:00
Fiona Fleur crosses the Baakens River on monkey bars as part of the Urban Run.  Photo: SUPPLIED

Fiona Fleur crosses the Baakens River on monkey bars as part of the Urban Run. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE Nelson Mandela Bay leg of the Urban Run South Africa event this past weekend raised just over R150 000 for charity thanks to the most generous donations of the participants who took part in this unique charity initiative to highlight urban renewal in local cities.

The city became alive this weekend as over 700 runners and Mountain Bike riders tackled the city for charity whilst raising funds for Cleary Estate Cheshire Home and the Reach for a Dream Foundation.

This annual event is hosted by the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) with proceeds from the KFC Rotary Kids Zone and Castle Lite Beer Garden going to the Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth Sunrise.

A fanfare of activity on the Donkin Reserve greeted participants and spectators as local entertainer Gino Fabbri warmed up the masses before the participants lined up behind a group of traditional African dancers. Executive Mayor Athol Trollip fired the starting gun.

Sunday’s race took the participants through 8.5km of the historic city centre with participants having to tackle no fewer than 24 obstacles with 5 Powerade drink stations on hand.

As the participants left the Donkin Reserve they went through a foam tunnel, then onto the new home of Masterton’s Coffee, through Donkin Village and back onto the Donkin for the Cerebos slip and slide and the SkipGo obstacle before header through Dockside Brewery and the refurbished Grand Hotel.

They also passed the magnificent athenaeum and had an exciting climb into Fort Frederick before a steep climb down into the lower Baakens valley with stunning views of the harbour where the National Ports Authority (NPA) had arranged for a tub to be positioned with water cannons spraying.

At the bottom participants got to enjoy ice cold slush puppies before negotiating the Party Design maze.

From there it was onto what proved to be the toughest and one of the most popular obstacles, the Bo’s Plant Hire monkey bars across the freezing cold Baakens River.

Along the river banks runners had to attempt a fun pouring obstacle with Caltex Eastern Cape before climbing over a massive low bed truck from Crash Trucks and then on through the quickly changing area of Chicky’s Yard housing Richmond Hill Brewery before heading back along the river and through the Tramways building and home of the MBDA.

Then the runners went through the sections of the event which were voted most popular on the day.

Second best obstacle was the Nutritech section which saw runners going through the ruins of St Peter’s Anglican church and St Mary’s cemetery before heading into the harbour where the NPA had arranged an assortment of obstacles winning themselves the Best Obstacle floating trophy.

After the harbour the runners went through the Old Post Office managed by Gimco, through the Feathermarket Hall and the Opera House before finishing back on the Donkin.

With over R150 000 raised for charity this weekend, top collectors Amanda de Ridder (R9 500), Lyndon Bagley (R6 060) and Annelize van Niekerk (R5 555) were rewarded with great prizes with Amanda getting the Philanthropist floating trophy.

Action pictures and videos from the event are available on the Urban Run facebook page with results from the weekend available on the event website www.urbanrun.co.za.

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