Athletics

Pandemic won’t trip up 67 Kilometres for Mandela Day race

Pandemic won't trip up 67 Kilometres for Mandela Day race - Sports Leo

Mandela Day is just over a month away and for the first time, it will take place amid a pandemic.

Not to be discouraged, this year the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) has organised a 67 Kilometres for Mandela Day race that can be done in the comfort of your own home, garden, or street.

Event organizer Andrew Ross, from Chaos Theory, said this challenge is both important and entertaining.

“With families, individuals and athletes largely confined to their homes during the lockdown, this initiative will secure much-needed funds while providing an entertaining, goal-driven purpose for exercise enthusiasts around the country and the globe,” Ross said.

This year Mandela Day not only commemorates the former president but also marks the NMCF’s silver anniversary.

“We’re inviting walkers, cyclists, and runners to join our virtual event online from anywhere in the world to make a huge difference to the children of South Africa.

“What makes the 67 Kilometres for Mandela Day event even more special is that this year NMCF celebrates 25 years of existence,” Ross said.

Those interested in taking part in the challenge can complete the virtual race at any time leading up to Mandela Day on July 18. Participants can also participate in teams, and race merchandise will be for sale.

Ross said the online route will be uploaded for all participants and this route will follow iconic South African landmarks, starting at the Apartheid Museum, passing the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, the NMCF, Constitution Hill, and Liliesleaf, to end in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.

Participants will also be able to keep up with other racers virtually.

“Participants can log on to our dedicated virtual event software online, create a profile, and link their smart devices. Daily data uploads are plotted on the virtual route, overlaid into a Google Street view so they can see how they are comparing to other ‘racers’ in the same event in real-time,” he said.

The virtual race application will be available to download from both the Android and Apple app stores.

NMCF director of communications and marketing Nomthi Mnisi said the global pandemic might have confined many, but it has unlocked creativity.

“Although the Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down, it has also unlocked creative ways in which we can still engage our community to meet the needs of the young people we serve. The idea of strengthening families especially whilst promoting health aligns directly with our cause and mandate,” Mnisi said.

Participants can join the 67 Kilometres for Mandela Day Facebook page or follow #67km4MandelaDay.

Enter online at www.vfcseries.com or via Quicket. Registration fees start from R250.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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