Thulani Sibisi, the founder of the Soweto marathon, is calling on Alex runners and fitness enthusiasts to register for the upcoming event. With an expected participation of 50,000 people, the streets of the largest township in the country will be bustling on November 5.
Speaking at the marathon’s launch, Sibisi expressed his original vision for the race 28 years ago, aiming to create a race that African people could take pride in while also providing an opportunity for other communities, including the white community, to mingle and connect with their African counterparts. He emphasised that the race is open to all communities and encouraged everyone, especially the residents of Alexandra, to register and help maintain its status as the country’s biggest one-day race event.
During the launch, the marathon organisers proudly introduced their headline sponsor, African Bank, leading to the adoption of a new name for the event – the African Bank Soweto Marathon. The bank’s chief marketing officer, Sibusiso Khumalo, wasted no time urging other corporates to join in support further to elevate the marathon into a formidable race event.
Khumalo stressed the importance of financial backing, comparing it to the government’s support of the apartheid system, suggesting that similar support is needed to make the marathon a successful nation-building and social cohesion initiative.
Athletics South Africa president, James Moloi, explained the board’s approach to the infighting, stating that they allowed the involved parties to find common ground through peaceful discussions rather than intervening coercively.
Thokozani Mazibuko, a spokesperson for the Soweto Marathon Trust, revealed the race details, with routes of 10km, 21.1km, and 42.2km, all commencing and concluding at the iconic FNB Stadium. The marathon will also pay tribute to Soweto’s rich history as participants run past eight significant heritage sites, including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Walter Sisulu Square, the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Credo Mutwa Cultural Village, Morris Isaacson High School and the June 16 Memorial Acre, Vilakazi Street, and the Hector Pietersen Memorial.
Mazibuko expressed gratitude to the African Bank for their support and backing of other partners, ensuring the marathon remains a beloved and well-executed event, run by and for the people, with thousands returning to partake each year.
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Photo: Supplied by Alex News