Entries to Medihelp NMB Train Race are now open

2017-07-27 06:00
<Last year the train won by about three minutes against Uitenhage’s Gamble Pharmacy team, the first corporate team to finish the race. Here is Andre Ketchem crossing the line for team Gamble Pharmacy. Photo: ORACLE MEDIA

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The 2017 Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race entries have now opened with the announcement of a two-year sponsorship from Medihelp, one of South Africa’s top medical schemes.

The sponsorship is a boost for the iconic event which was reintroduced in 2014 in a unique and exciting format between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage stations.

The 2017 Medihelp Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race will take place on Sunday, October 1, and is expected to attract over 250 teams.

The teams will take on a metrorail train over 38km with each team comprising five runners and one mountain bike cyclist.

An individual category is also available within the event which is primarily a team event for companies, schools, social and club teams.

“The event was a perfect fit for Medihelp’s objectives to promote a healthy lifestyle and provide opportunities for our members in regions to engage with Medihelp and participate in events that illustrate the physical and psychological value of keeping active,” said Medihelp’s principal officer, Heyn van Rooyen.

The six-stage race will start at the historic Port Elizabeth railway station at 09:00 on race day with just over 700 spectators boarding the train which the teams will be racing.

Stage one is a 5km run towards Sydenham Station and stage two is the shortest stage of the race at around 3.5km, taking the teams through Deal Party to opposite New Brighton Station.

Then, it’s stage three, a 4.5km run down to the Swartkops river front where teams will tag their mountain bike riders before stage four, a 10km off-road cycle along the railway line through the quaint village of Redhouse on to Perseverance Station, where the cyclist will hand over to a runner to setup over stage five.

Stage five is a 6km run through Despatch and to the Despatch Station. Finally, stage six will take the last team member on an 8km mixed trail and road run into Uitenhage to finish in the festival atmosphere of the Uitenhage Station.

The train passengers often have the best time of all with a nostalgic trip on the train which has a 20-minute stop-over at Redhouse Station for refreshments.

A limited number of train coaches are also made available for companies to pre-book. Tickets will be available as of August 1.

Entries for the Medihelp Train Race costs R700 for corporate teams, R600 for social teams, R500 for club teams, R400 for school teams and R200 for individuals.

The event will support local charity Love Story and all its initiatives in the communities along the race route.

  • For more info on the Train Race visit www.trainrace.co.za.

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