The Mandela Day Marathon fever has gripped KwaZulu-Natal, this fast growing iconic race takes place this Sunday from Manaye Hall in Imbali outside Pietermaritzburg (where late President Nelson Mandela addressed the All in Africa Conference in 1961) to the Mandela Capture site (where he got arrested in 1962), this became a turning point in South Africa’s struggle for freedom.
Today the Mayor of uMgungundlovu District, Cllr Thobekile Maphumulo, opened the Mandela Day Marathon and SMME Expo, saying “the event is about uniting our nation and reminding each other of our values of Ubuntu and that we are each other’s keepers”
According to Mayor Maphumulo; “a lot of planning has gone into this year’s preparations to live up to the Madiba magic experience. The marathon has opened up a lot of opportunity for young entrepreneurs, runners to develop themselves and positioned uMgungundlovu District.We are now doing the final touches and we are 100% confident we will be ready to go from Saturday to Sunday.”
Organisers represented by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, called on the runners to take care of their health ahead of the Mandela Day Marathon. This marathon is about the triumph of the human spirit. There is an 8Km “struggle hill”; which epitomises the hardship, trials and tribulation that our nation went through to get where it is. Every time you run through that hill, the words of Madiba which goes: “after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb” should echo and inspire you not to give up. However, if you start running into trouble you should pull out and get into one of the rescue buses”.
About 15 000 runners are expected to compete in this year’s marathon, starting with the Trail run, triathlon, mountain bike and kiddies race on Saturday.
Top elite Athletes led by 2017 Comrades Marathon winner Bongumusa Mthembu and the first female South African to win in 2017, Sharne Bosman will lead the Athletes which will feature the current record holder of the Mandela Day Marathon, Thobani Chagwe and international athletes. Media is invited from 11am to 13h00 pm.
Media enquiries: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Msawakhe Mayisela, 060 966 4220