Entries to Medihelp NMB Train Race are now open

The excitement of man versus machine is captured in the epic Medihelp Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race which will take place on October 1.           Photo:RICHARD PEARCE
The excitement of man versus machine is captured in the epic Medihelp Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race which will take place on October 1. Photo:RICHARD PEARCE

THE 2017 Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race entries have now opened with the announcement of a two-year sponsorship from Medihelp medical scheme.

The sponsorship is a great 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, where each team comprises of 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.

Medihelp’s principal officer, Heyn van Rooyen, said that Medihelp is proud to be associated with such an esteemed event.

“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,” Van Rooyen said.

The six-stage race will start at the historic Port Elizabeth railway station at 9am 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.

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

For more info on the 2017 Medihelp NMB Train Race go to www.trainrace.co.za.

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