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Proceeds of race to go to charity

New ultra-marathon to honour Covid-19 survivors

Image: REUTERS/CHRISTOPHER PIKE

Despite growing concerns over the postponement of races by Athletics SA due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Moving Ahead Development Agency (MADA) launched a new virtual marathon yesterday. 

They launched the race in partnership with the Gauteng department of sports, arts and recreation. 

The Two Cities virtual ultra-marathon will take place on March 14. Runners will run anywhere in the country in three distances – 10km, 21km and 45km. 

Former Comrades Marathon champion Gift Kelehe and Lizzy Babili are the race ambassadors and will run the 45km race. The inaugural race will honour Covid-19 survivors. 

Runners can nominate their Covid-19 heroes and run for those people.

But why launch a road race at a time when athletes are frustrated by Athletics SA? But CEO Tshepo Mokoena said their timing was perfect. "When you go around the streets of Soweto, you see people running alone. We want to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle.

"People like me work from home, and as a result, eat a lot and pick up a lot of weight. We want people to be fit and know that running is the way to go. Athletes are frustrated, and we invite them to come and take their frustrations on the road in March. Next year we hope to organise a real race," said Mokoena. 

Kelehe said he would run his 45km race in Dullstroom, Mpumalanga. "I will be running a virtual marathon for the first time. There is no substitute for a real marathon. The starting point is not the same, and the routes are different," said the traffic officer.   

Those interested in running their chosen distance can register online (www.twocities.co.za). 

The entry fees are 10km (R60), 21km (R70) and 45km (R90). T-shirts are also available for R80 and R70. All Covid-19 protocols will be adhered to on the day of the race, and participants will receive digital medals after finishing their respective races. 

There is no prize money, and all proceeds will go to charity. 

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