Thousands to run Mandela event wherever they are

Xaba to honour Madiba via virtual race

Glenrose Xaba of Boxer Athletic Club
Glenrose Xaba of Boxer Athletic Club
Image: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

The annual Mandela Remembrance Run and Walk this year will be an event with a difference, all due to Covid-19 regulations. 

Unlike in the past when elite and social runners pounded the streets together along a course in Pretoria, this time roadrunning enthusiasts, including walkers, will partake in the event honouring former president Nelson Mandela virtually on Saturday and Sunday.

This means participants, who entered the races (10km and 21km) and walk (5km) online, will run the stipulated distances wherever they are, email evidence of their participation and finish times to the organisers, and get the medal by mail.

Prominent road runner Glenrose Xaba is unfazed by strange times for road races, saying she was looking forward to run the halfmarathon (21km).

"I want to do it for Madiba. I cannot wait to run and will use it as part of my preparation for the Olympic Games," Xaba said. She has already qualified for the marathon (42.2km) race at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The Pretoria resident who trains at the University of Pretoria, said she would do her run at the Union Buildings.

The virtual race will also be run all over the world as the organisers received entries from the UK, Canada, Nigeria and the US. Runners will receive unique virtual medals and certificates to confirm their participation.

Soccer legend Teboho Moloi, Zambian football icon Kalusha Bwalya and wheelchair tennis star Kgothatso Montjane will also take part in the race.

“I am excited to take part in the virtual Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run. I have participated in this race every year. Let us make this race a great celebration. You can join the race all over the world,” Bwalya said.

Montjane said she would do the 5km fun walk.

“I wish that I can walk with you, but this year it is a virtual event. Let us make Madiba proud by celebrating his life,” said Montjane.

Moloi urged South Africans to honour Madiba by taking part in the race.

“I will run my race from the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. You can run the race anywhere in the world this year. A healthy mind is a healthy body,” said Moloi.

Elite runners Collen Mulaudzi and Charne Bosman are the favourites to win the men and women's races.

• Visit mandelawalkandrun.com for registration and other info.

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