Run wild in park marathon

RUNNERS challenge themselves over marathon and half-marathon distances in the Marakele National Park. Photo: Supplied
RUNNERS challenge themselves over marathon and half-marathon distances in the Marakele National Park. Photo: Supplied

THE Marakele National Park will once again partner with SANParks Honorary Rangers and the Thabazimbi Marathon Club to stage the 2016 Marakele Marathon.

This is a unique marathon which takes place inside a national park and aims to bring both ordinary members of the public as well as the professional running community of South Africa together to have some fun and take “a run on the wild side”.

The marathon, which takes place on Saturday, 27 February, takes place in the park to draw the public’s and the media’s attention to the importance of conservation.

It also highlights various fundraising and tourism initiatives which are key to the functioning of a national park.

Participants can choose to complete one of three races. The full marathon is 42,2 km, the half-marathon is 21,1 km and then there is a 10 km race.

There is also a 5 km fun run suitable for the whole family, which is very popular among children and casual supporters.

While there is no limit to participants in the fun run, the other races have a cut-off of 300 participants.

In 2015, Fliyatswepiso Moqo-boya won the men’s 42,2 km in an amazing time of 2:35:52 and the women’s race went to Prudence Zwane with a time of 3:13:46.

In the 21,1 km, the men’s race was won by Harmans Mokgadi with 1:12:41 while Catherine Malungane took the women’s race with an excellent time of 01:30:01.

Joseph Manyedi and Doné Grové won the 10 km race for men and women in 32:30 and 41:25 respectively.

The Marakele Marathon provides an opportunity for runners to experience the wild and to qualify for the Comrades ultra-marathon.

“We are hoping to see more participation from the community of Thabazimbi and South Africa at large, and call upon interested parties to register early,” said Johan Taljaard, park manager of the Marakele National Park.

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