THE Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) will host the seventh edition of the Urban Run Charity Festival on September 9 and 10 to once again highlight ongoing inner-city upgrades in what has become the biggest charity obstacle event in South Africa.The Nelson Mandela Bay Urban Festival will take place at the Donkin Reserve, starting at 8am with an open-entry public aerobics class instructed by the local Metro Gym. The festival will transform the heart of the city into an 8km obstacle course, attracting hundreds of participates and bringing spectators to the city to witness the urban renewal being undertaken by the MBDA and commercial property owners.The Urban Run was started in 2011 by Michael Zoetmulder, director of Zsports Events NPC, as a means to bring people back to the city for a fun event that provides a massive boost to local charities. The event is fast becoming one of the largest sporting events to be held in the CBD and has raised almost R950 000 to date for local nominated charities. This year’s nominated charities are the Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer initiative, and the Cleary Estate Cheshire Home, a home for chronically disabled adults and children situated in the heart of the crime and drug lands of the Northern Areas. This year’s festival will include drone racing, a dog competition, a 3km kids’ obstacle run, a 15km mountain bike race and the popular Urban Run, which is a fun and social event where competitiveness is centered more on raising charity money than running in record time. Participants dress up and have fun as they attempt 30 or more urban obstacles on the route through the CBD. Akhiwe Malinga, Zsports marketing manager, stressed that the Urban Run has always been about having fun and less about trying to be the first to cross the finish line. “It’s not often runners can take part in an event where they can run and joke with their friends and colleagues and have a great laugh along the way. Such an environment has enabled the Urban Run to attract a lot of participants and this year hopes to bring the charity fundraising from this MBDA supported event to over R1 million,” Malinga said.Local companies can get involved in supporting the event and charities by branding one of the obstacles or water points along the route or by donating prize hampers for the lucky draws.Online entries are still open. Entry to the Urban MTB race is R180, R100 to the Urban Kids 3km and R150 to the Urban Run. Additional late entry fees will apply closer to race weekend. All participants in the Urban Festival are required to raise R100 or more for the nominated charities. Charity forms are available on the Urban Run website at www.urbanrun.co.za.