The 8th running of the Mandela Day Marathon expected to take place on Sunday 25 August 2019, once again proved that the marathon is a most sought after sporting calendar for athletes with this year’s entries exceeding the 20 000 mark across all the three races including the Saturday events that comprise of the children’s race, mountain biking, trail running and triathlon.

“More than 21 000 entries have been received and verified. This is great news for the organisers of the marathon and again proves that the Mandela Day Marathon is the fastest growing race not only in South Africa but in Africa,” said uMgungundlovu District Mayor, Thobekile Maphumulo.

This year’s marathon will be held on Sunday 25 August 2019, with the Children’s Race, mountain biking (MTD-Dash) and triathlon activities taking place on Saturday 24 August 2019. All the Sunday races will start promptly at 06:00 am.

The marathon will see 120 international athletes going the distance in various races in pursuit of crossing the finish line ahead of their fellow runners and within the cut off time.

The number of international athletes taking part in this year’s race is a welcomed testament that the marathon is gaining traction globally.

“Nelson Mandela himself was a world icon. Our former President was loved by many people across the globe and for us as the race organizers, this is welcomed news and a cherry on top in ensuring that Mandela Day Marathon becomes an all-encompassing reflection of Tata Madiba,” said Maphumulo.

Off the 120 international athletes 29 will take part in the 21.1 KM race, 28 runners participate in the 10 KM race while 63 athletes will run the 42 KM race.

The international countries represented through the entries for this year’s race include 33 Zimbabweans, four Zambians, six Kenyans, 23 Lesotho nationals, four Malawians, three Mozambicans, one athlete from Russia, one athlete from Singapore, one runner from the United Kingdom, four from the United States of America and 26 Swaziland nationals, to name some of the countries represented in the upcoming marathon.

Elite runners from across the country and in some parts of Africa will also join the more than 21 000 runners that have entered this race in chase of the number one spot on the podium or at the very least a position within the top 10.

The likes of Skhumbuzo Bhengu from the province of KwaZulu-Natal who has ran several formidable races in his career; Phakoane Rakoto from Lesotho along with his fellow countryman Teboho Noosi who both are strong runners with an impressive track records in long-distance running will go head to head with other top runners in the 42 KM.

On the female category of the 42 KM Selam Abere, a veteran runner in the Mandela Marathon will no doubt be a strong contender again this year. Abere finished in the first position in 2015 and 2016 and she finished in the second position in 2017.

The Ethiopian born 30-year-old athlete is very familiar with the route from Manaye Hall to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. Another Ethiopian born long distance runner Yenealem Ayano Buli along with Nomthandazo Mlotshwa are well experienced in their own right in marathons and will showcase their authority on the tarmac.

“Preparations are at an advanced stage for another exciting edition of the marathon. We have made a few alterations that runners who have participated in the marathon before will sure notice. Our finish line at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site has been condensed to make for easier flow of runners which is a further improvement from last year’s race which runners were happy about,” said race director, Johan Van Staden.

With the entries tallied up and verified athletes are now left coming out in their numbers to register for the race.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, has urged communities residing in areas that are along the route to turn out in their numbers to cheer on athletes as they tackle on of the most gruelling race on earth. “This year’s race will indeed be an incredible spectacle as we honour the life of Madiba” said Hlomuka.

“Registration for the marathon is upon.

Athletes wishing to register in Durban registration will be held on Wednesday 21 August 2019 at Moses Mabhida People’s Park between 10h00 am and 19h00 pm. While registration in Pietermaritzburg will be held at the YMCA on 1 Alan Paton Avenue (behind Sasol Garage) over two days on Friday 23 August from 10h00 am to 19h00pm and Saturday 24 August from 10h00am to 17h00 pm. We are again aiming to ensure that the registration processes are as smooth as possible,” added Van Staden.

The following is important for runners to note for a smooth registration: 

  1. Entrants will receive an SMS prior to registration with a race number, race distance and registration venue. Runners are urged to bring along their ID documents to the registration venue to collect their race numbers.
  2. If you are asking someone else to collect the race number you will need to give them a letter of permission and a signed copy of your ID Document.
  3. Race numbers can ONLY be collected from the registration venue identified in your SMS, and entry form.
  4. NOTE: there are no new entries taken at the registration venue
  5. Runners should collect their Mandela Day Marathon T shirts and Goodie Bag.


“It must be specified that no new entries will be accepted on registration days as entries for the marathon are completely closed,” said Van Staden.


For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Senzelwe Mzila, 082 474 1882.


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