“We expect runners from the Free State and the southern part of the North West province. We estimate that 600 to 800 runners will take part”
Organisers of the inaugural 21km Phakamile Mabija Human Rights half-marathon dedicated to the late anti-apartheid struggle stalwart hope the event will in future attract 10 000 and more athletes to the Diamond City.
Speaking at the launch of the half-marathon event at the NTT motor dealership venue in Phakamile Mabija Road, Teemaneng Running Club (TRC) chairperson Lorato Banda, said they hoped to register about 600 to 800 runners in the first race, more than half of whom will likely be from Kimberley.
The race will start at the Galeshewe Stadium on Human Rights Day (March 21). The shorter 10km race will, along with the major contest, trace most of the tourist and heritage sites and places of historical importance, like the Kimberley Police station and the Big Hole around Kimberley, Banda said.
The organisers have made a request with the SA Police Services for the runners to lay wreaths or flowers in front of the police station in honour of the late Phakamile Mabija and others who either lost their lives there or were incarcerated at the station. Banda said this gesture is copied from the Comrades Marathon which similarly honours those who perished in wars.
“We expect runners from the Free State and the southern part of the North West province. We estimate that 600 to 800 runners will take part. Our vision is that in the long term the numbers will grow to around 10 000 to 20 000,” Banda said.
Banda acknowledged members of the Mabija family in the audience at the launch who included the elder brother to the late Phakamile namely Vuyisile ‘BG’ Mabija, his sons Phenyo and Thami Mabija, the current acting Sol Plaatje municipal manager.
The sponsors which include the Office of the Premier, NTT Motors and primary backer Absa bank, have put up prize money of R105 000.
This will be broken into a R30 000 first prize, the second male and female winners will pocket R20 000 and the third prize is set at R10 000.
The junior 10km race winner will walk away with R15 000 second R10 000 and third R5 000.
Goody bags will be available for winners of the 5km race.
Race entry details are available online and social media platforms. Or visit http://tiny.cc/88dmjz to register.