In its quest to promote the healthy and interactive sport of running among local communities and schools in the greater Pietermaritzburg region, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is excited to announce the continued success of its corporate social initiative, the Greater Edendale Race.
The community-enhancing road running fixture was conceived by the CMA more than a decade ago and initiated in conjunction with the local Msunduzi Municipality and the Umsunduzi Tourism Association in 2007. Over the years, the exciting event has gone on to garner the support of corporate sponsors such as Build-It and Pick ‘n Pay.
From humble beginnings five years ago, with an entry field of less than 100 runners, the local race has gone on to amass a field of well over a thousand participants, representing the entire Rainbow Nation. Organisers expect the fifth staging of this exciting event on Sunday, 13 November 2011 at the FNB Wadley Stadium in Georgetown, Edendale in the KZN Midlands to maintain the growing enthusiasm associated with the race over the years.
While the very first race consisted of only a 5km Fun Run, it has since grown into both a 10km Race as well as its usual funfilled Fun-Run which is a major attraction for many local school children. Entries cost R20 for the 10km race which starts at 07h30 whilst entry to the 5km Fun Run costs R10 and begins at 08h00.
In the past two years this race has attracted the cream of the crop when it comes to short distance athletes. The likes of Olivia Chitate, Elmore Sibanda, Poppy Mlambo, Welsey Ruto and Tanith Maxwell have all graced this event with their esteemed presence.
Entry criteria stipulates that potential participants be at least 15 years old for the 10km race. Temporary licenses will be available at the Registration Desk at a cost of R10 for those runners who are not licensed members of running clubs. With regard to the 5km Fun Run, anyone over 9 years old may enter.
As is the case with other official road-running races, this event is governed by the rules of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), Athletics South Africa (ASA) and KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA). All entrants are expected to abide by these rules. Special attention is drawn to IAAF Rules 4.2 and 142 for foreign runners as well as the condition that no personal seconding will be permitted.
The top five will be handsomely rewarded, with the Men and Women’s winners running off with the top award of R2,500 in addition to other category prizes. Walkers have not been left out as prize money will be awarded to the first three walkers over the finish line for both the men’s and women’s race. Additionally, every finisher will take home a medal.
Part of this event is a schools challenge in which schools compete with each other for the two main ‘school prizes’. Schools are encouraged to get their pupils to participate in the Fun Run. The first two schools with most finishers will each walk away with a computer.
Vusi Duma, acting chairman of Greater Edendale Athletics Club says: ‘We are delighted to be part of this partnership with the Comrades Marathon Association. We are a new club formed as a result of this partnership and are learning a lot from the organisers of The Ultimate Human Race. On behalf of the Greater Edendale Community and the Greater Edendale Athletics Club, we thank the CMA for this opportunity. We appeal to the community of Edendale to come out in their numbers and support the race, be it as a participant, marshal or spectator.’
Says CMA’s Marketing Coordinator, Thami Vilakazi: ‘The Greater Edendale race goes a long way in uniting communities towards a common goal of cooperating with each other and bringing much needed development to their locality. It is also deeply gratifying to see our youngsters participating in sport at a young age and focusing their lives on extra-mural activities which grow them with a sense of individual and civic pride.’
Thami adds: ‘We as the CMA are proud to be associated with this community-empowering event.’
The local race organizing committee will be at the stadium taking entries on Saturday 12 November 2011 at the Wadley Stadium from 11h00 to 14h00. Registration will also be open on the day of the race from 05h00 to 07h30.
Security and safe parking will be provided. The South African Police Services, Municipal Security and Traffic Police Services will also be on hand to ensure that runners are safe and secure.
Statement released by the Comrades Marathon Association on Friday, 28 October 2011