OVERWHELMING support from over 1000 entrants in the Herald Nelson Mandela Bay Urban Run held yesterday in the heart of Port Elizabeth saw about R190000 raised for a children's charity.
While Thando Bixa and Liza Bright stormed to victory yesterday, overcoming the 17 urban obstacles over the 10.5km route which highlights the urban renewal completed by the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), it was the philanthropic attitude of the participants which stole the show.
Participants tackled the city – with the CBD and surrounding areas strewn with all sorts of obstacles, from storm water drains to climbing Fort Frederick and running through a train – all in the name of raising money for charity.
"Words can't describe our emotion for the way in which the participants have accepted our objectives of the Urban Run and supported the charity initiative of this special event," race organiser Mike Zoetmulder of Zports said.
"It is fantastic to see so many people having a great time in the city whilst being able to leave a legacy which will affect so many children going forward."
The Urban Run, in just its second year, saw a 300% increase in entries and is destined to become one of Nelson Mandela Bay's premier social sports events.
Herald chief marketing officer Justin Peel and MBDA chief executive Pierre Voges handed out the winners' trophies in front of a packed Donkin Reserve, which was transformed into a festival of activities over the weekend, drawing some 3000 people to the "balcony of the city".
The top three placings went to:
Men: Thando Bixa, Paul Blake, Christo Muller; and
Women: Liza Bright, Janine Jacobs, Odessa Peterson.