Some of South Africa’s top sports personalities are lining up to participate in this year’s Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run in Tshwane on Sunday 9 December. This is a special family event that will close the year as we reach midway Madiba’s Centenary Year celebrations. The Centennial celebrations of Nelson Mandela started on 18 July.
Bafana Bafana legends Shaun Bartlett, Doctor Khumalo and Aaron Mokoena are taking part, as is wheelchair tennis sensation Kgothatso Montjane and elite athletes such as 2016 Comrades winner Charne Bosman, Olympian Christine Kalmer, former SA marathon champ Benedict Moeng and former World Student Games half-marathon silver medalist Collen Mulaudzi.
They are just some of the exciting big names who will join throngs of 30 000 people expected to participate in the fourth edition of this very special event, which will also honour revered political activists and stalwarts Albertina Sisulu and Margaret Gaso.
Entries to the public are still available for this year’s Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run, which sees the introduction for the first time this year of a 21 kilometre Half Marathon, in addition to the 5 kilometre walk and 10 kilometre run of previous editions.
Hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, together with the Gauteng Province, this year’s 10 and 21 km events will begin and end at the magnificent Union Buildings and will be a fun day out for the whole family. The 5km walk will begin at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison and end at the Union Buildings.
“It is an event that is very family-oriented and the perfect way for South Africans to honour Nelson Mandela, who was the people’s President and who was very enthusiastic about sport. It’s a great honour for me to participate and I hope the public will come out in huge numbers to be part of this very special event,” said Bartlett.
US Open semifinalist Montjane will be participating in the 5 kilometre walk in support and celebration of wheelchair tennis.
“I’m approaching it with the mentality that if I can play in a three hour tennis match, I should be able to last for five kilometres. It’s something fun and exciting for me which I am really looking forward to. It’s important, looking at how much Madiba did for us all, to acknowledge him and walk where he walked at the Union Buildings in recognition of his contribution. I urge South Africans to come out in their numbers to participate, do it for Madiba, but also for your own health and fitness. It’s always good to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Montjane, who holds 29 wheelchair singles titles and has participated with distinction at the Australian, French and US Opens.
The 21km has proved to be a popular addition to this year’s event, with over half the entries received thus far signing up for the half marathon route, as the Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run becomes a popular event on the South African road running calendar.
“The Gauteng Province is honoured to have played a central role in former President Nelson Mandela’s Centenary celebrations this year. Madiba lived his life in service to a free and equal society for all and we will again be doing the Remembrance Walk and Run to honour his commitment to justice, equality and a non-racial South Africa. We are urging people to come out in huge numbers to be part of this very special event,” said Ms Faith Mazibuko, Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
Entry fee is R50 for the 5km walk, R100 for the 10km Run and R150 for the 21km run, which will have nominal winners prize money of R5 000 for the elite runners in each age and gender category taking on the 10kms and half marathon route. All participants will receive drawstring bags from Lotto containing a Lotto shirt, cap and some more event goodies.
There will be loads of entertainment for the kids and child minders will be available to look after them. There will also be food Stalls, a music concert on the lawns for which an exciting line-up will soon be announced, fitness and boxing displays and plenty of fun for all.
Race numbers for the run will include chip timing for the pro runners.