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Runners will be ecstatic to know that the Soweto Marathon will be returning on 2 November.
 
With the backing of Nike SA as the title sponsor, the “People’s Race” is set to host 21 000 runners on the streets of Soweto, as it traverses past iconic landmarks and heritage sites.
 
Newly appointed Athletics South Africa President Aleck Skhosana assured runners that there will never be a repeat of the infighting that saw the race being cancelled last year.
 
“Never again shall we have a situation like the previous one.”
 
He said the Soweto Marathon had become a historical race and premier event on the race calendar and with Nike and other partners on board, it would be restored to its former glory.
 
The race’s partners include Gauteng Provincial Government, the City of Johannesburg, Schneider Electric and the National Lottery and media SABC, which will broadcast the race.
 
“We are committed to delivering a running event that will re-ignite a sense of community and continue a legacy, and are proud to welcome Nike on board as this years’ title sponsor.  Our race partners share in the vision to deliver an event that is based on a structure that is credible and mirrors the manner of governance and management of other events of this magnitude,” Skhosana added.
 
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development, Councillor Chris Vondo expressed excitement and welcomed the partnership with all stakeholders involved in making sure that the race is organized professionally. “We want the race to attract the interests of all runners like the Comrades Marathon as we boast a rich history and the fact that it’s in Soweto and the route passes our heritage and iconic sites like Vilakazi Street where the house of the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela is. We as the City also promote the healthy living life style.”
 
Nike Running Brand Manager Simi Adeagbo welcomed the introduction of the 21.1 kilometres race in what was traditionally a 10 and 42.2 kilometres event.
 
“Nike is enabling the running movement and this experience is set to push runners, from novice to established, and we will be there with our Nike+ running app and run clubs to help our runners all the way to the finish line,” she said.”
 
“The Nike Soweto Marathon is the most spectator supported marathon in the country and is an event which stimulates the socio-economic benefit within the community of Soweto, and we are committed to creating an experience for the community at large. This is the only marathon in the country that runs across a township touching key historic sites, and this is exciting for Joburg. Some of these sites play a significant role in preserving and showcasing our City’s heritage, diversity of cultures and most of all it talks to the dynamic identity of this City.”
 
Reflecting on the significance of the race, South African road runner champions, Ludwick Mamabolo, Charne Bosman and Mapaseka Makhanya, welcomed the revival of the people’s race, saying they look forward to lining up at the start on race day.
 
Registration for the Nike Soweto Marathon opens on Thursday, July 31, at 09h00 via the official race website:  www.sowetomarathon.com. Runners can also register at Nike stores at The Zone @ Rosebank and Sandton City Mall, the Orlando Community Centre in Soweto, Run-aWay Store in Pretoria, and The Sweat Shops in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The Nike Soweto Marathon 10 kilometres race is open to runners aged 15 years and older, with the race fee pegged at R100.00 for the Open category, and R75.00 for students and grand masters.  Race will start at 07h00.
 
The 21.1 kilometres event, which starts at 06h30, is open to runners aged 16 years and older, with the race fee pegged at R130.00 for the Open Category, and R90.00 in for students and grand masters.
 
The main event, which starts at 06h00 will be open to all runners over the age of 20 years, with the Open category race fee set at R170.00 and R125.00 for students and grand masters.
 
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