The event, which honoured the birthday of the global human rights icon, the late Nelson Mandela, was held in the grand old suburb of Houghton, where Madiba often walked in his later years. Many people were often surprised to find him walking the streets with his bodyguards in tow."I have always believed exercise is a key not only to physical health but to peace of mind."
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, 1994.
As an added treat for participants, multi award-winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo participated in this inaugural event in celebration of our first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, with whom they shared many memorable gatherings, including the awarding of his Nobel Peace Prize.
The 8km race route incorporated some iconic sites, such as Madiba's 12th street house, the Sanctuary Mandela on 13th Street and the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Central Street.
The Old Edwardians club hosted the start and finish of the race, with Virgin Active Houghton hosting the race warm-up. Interestingly, the establishment of Virgin Active was a direct result of Nelson Mandela's intervention to financially rescue the former Health & Racquet Clubs by reaching out to Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group in Britain.
Other businesses based in the neighbourhood who have lent their support to the event are Power FM, Vision Tactical, and Indwe Insurance.
The race started at 8am and was be timed with Discovery Vitality offering 300 points for members to complete the distance. Tickets were available at Ticketpro for a donation of R200. All race proceeds went towards the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.