MORE than R40000 in prizes will be up for grabs at the 10km road race and 4.2km mini marathon starting at Cillie High School next weekend.
Scores of entrants are expected for next Saturday's "Human Race" – a joint effort by the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy and EP Athletics (EPA). The event has grown from 714 participants in 2010 to more than 1500. Race organiser Aziez Madatt said the marathon was founded as a platform on which Nelson Mandela Bay residents could promote a healthy lifestyle and engage in fostering non-racialism and social cohesion.
The event is also designed as a "beyond the factory floor" engagement initiative for corporate entities and their staff.
Madatt said the event's inception coincided with former mayor Nondumiso Maphazi's call for initiatives to build non-racialism and social cohesion.
"The democracy centre was very eager to partner with EPA in developing such an event, as it is the perfect vehicle to get people together," Madatt said.
The democracy centre is so confident of community support that buses have been organised for participants from Kwanobuhle, Uitenhage, Motherwell and the northern areas to ensure the event reaches as many people as possible.
"The great thing about the event is that it involves people from all walks of life.
"The 4.2km [mini marathon] is manageable for those who want to get involved in walking and running.
"In addition, the 2010 World Cup stadium [part of the route] is a perfect backdrop for the young, who love capturing their glory moments as they run or walk."
The race is suitable for all, from seasoned athletes to moms pushing prams.
For the serious runners, there will be many prizes to compete for, including running shoes.
The first 350 entrants will receive a free race T-shirt.
Entry forms are available at sportswear shops in the Bay.
Cost is R25 for the mini marathon and R30 for the 10km.
Pupils will pay R5, provided their entry forms have an official school stamp.
Pupils who submit their entries on race day will pay R25.
A temporary racing licence for the 10km will cost R25. Those who wish to submit their entries at sportswear shops have until Wednesday to do so.
Alternatively, late entries will be accepted at Cillie High School next Friday between 5pm and 7pm, as well as on the race morning between 6.30am and 7.30am.
Walkers and those on wheelchairs are also welcome. For more information, contact (041)374-3818/9, or Madatt on 083-564-4270.