South African National Parks (SANParks) in partnership with SANParks Honorary Rangers and Thabazimbi Marathon club will stage the 2017 edition of the popular Marekele marathon at Marakele National Park near Thabazimbi on 8 April.
The event offers three race options namely a marathon, half marathon, 10 km and a 5 km fun run, which is very popular among children and casual supporters. The race has shown constant growth since its inception seven years ago and, following the 600 entries received last year and being a Comrades Marathon qualifier, the organisers foresee a turnout of 1 000 this year.
Divhani Maremba, Communications Manager at the park in a media statement said the marathon aimed to bring both the ordinary members of the public as well as the professional running community of South Africa to have some fun and take a run on the wild side.
“It also focuses the public and the media’s attention on the importance of conservation and highlights various fundraising and tourism initiatives which are key to the functioning of a national park. Furthermore, the marathon provides an opportunity for runners to experience the wild,” Maremba stated.
Start times are 06:00 for the 42.2 and 21.1 km and 06:15 for the 10 km. Gold medals will be awarded to category winners and silver to all other finishers. The fun runners will receive bronze medals. There will be category prizes and lucky draw prizes.
Story: Herbert Rachuene