“This year’s Mandela Day Marathon promises to exceed all expectations” -these were the words of KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka who convened a press briefing at the Mandela Capture Site in Howick today to give updates on the 2019 edition of this Iconic race.
“We are very excited that the marathon continues to grow in leaps and bounds and is fast becoming a key event in the province’s racing calendar. We have set ourselves an important target of delivering an excellent marathon that will reflect the values that Madiba stood for. This year is a significant year when our country is celebrating 25 years of freedom and we are excited that all our key partners are on board and are assisting to ensure that we deliver a spectacular race,” said Hlomuka.
Hlomuka was joined by uMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor Cllr Thobekile Maphumulo and uMngeni Mayor Cllr Sizwe Sokhela. In her address Cllr Maphumulo hailed the economic benefits that the District continues to gain from hosting this historic marathon; “Since we started hosting this marathon the economic benefits have trickled down to many within our communities who are working in the hospitality industry”.
Race Director, Johan van Staden, announced that for this year’s edition of the marathon entries will be capped at 17000 athletes for the various races which will take place at the end of August. “We have also increased the number of buses that will shuttle athletes from the finish line to the various parking areas. The number of security and personnel that will be assisting with the marathon has also been increased,” said van Staaden.
The total prize money for the Weekend of Festivities is over R3-million, with the winner of the 42 KM walking away with R100 000 in each category.
The Mandela Day Marathon weekend of festivities will see thousands of atheletes take part in the various sporting codes on 24 and 25 August. These activities include Mountain Biking, Hiking and the Triathlone. On the Sunday, athletes will tackle the 10 KM, 21 KM and 42 KM ultra marathon in honour of Madiba’s legacy.
Entries for the marathon have opened and top international athletes are expected to take part.