With road runners across the province preparing for the 2019 Limpopo Marula Festival half marathon scheduled to take place in Phalaborwa on 23 February, the local Run/Walk for Life club as event organiser on Monday handed over an accolade to the main sponsor of the event, Limpopo Tourism Board as a token of appreciation.
Club chairperson Kobie Marais, who handed over the accolade to Marula Festival project manager Moses Ngobeni, said this was the fourth time they organised the marathon and that they were particularly pleased with the increased number of entries received. He said the award was intended to thank the board for a good and healthy working relationship. Marais added that in excess of 850 athletes had participated in the last competition and they were hoping for even higher numbers in future.
He informed that the marathon mostly drew entries from schools in Limpopo and that the school with the most entries wins a computer. According to Marais former Comrades Marathon winners are invited to mingle with and inspire other athletes. He lastly confirmed that preparations were well underway.
Accepting the accolade on behalf of the LTA board Ngobeni emphasised that it was a great gesture and thanked Run/Walk for Life for organising the past events successfully. He said the marathon was unique because the route passed through the Kruger National Park. He said they were planning to introduce a 42,2 km marathon which will serve as a qualifier for the Comrades Marathon in the near future.
“We want to promote a healthy lifestyle among young children and motivate them to take part in various sporting codes to become professional athletes in future. The Limpopo Marula Festival half marathon is doing well thus far and we are content with the response from the public. We are looking forward to yet another successful edition,” Ngobeni explained.
Athletes who are interested to take part in the marathon with the prize money totalling R70 000 can choose from a 5 km fun run, 10 km race and 21,1 km half marathon. Entries are now open and close on 15 February. Road runners can register online by visiting www.entrytime.com or contact Marais on 082 561 5429 or Jerry Mamabolo on 082 350 9544 for more information.
Story and photo: ENDY SENYATSI