The Port Elizabeth City Center will be abuzz with activity this year as the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) play host to the 2016 Urban Run Nelson Mandela Bay weekend at the Donkin Reserve.
This inner city obstacle charity race, in its current fundraising format, is unique to Nelson Mandela Bay and will be drawing thousands of people back to the heart of the historic CBD. The old Port Elizabeth CBD is currently undergoing expensive urban renewal and how better to showcase the changes than with a mass participation run through these areas. “The concept was born in 2011 when I visited the City Centre and was blown away by the upgrading that takes place without anyone being aware of it,” said race originator Mike Zoetmulder of Zsports Events NPC. “I approached Pierre Voges of the MBDA and said that I’d like to help bring people back to the CBD to witness the urban renewal which the entity was busy with and how better than through sports tourism.”
“The urban renewal excited me and I wanted to introduce a new event into the city that would do the same and hit on the idea of the urban obstacle run where participants would run past, through, over and under parts of the City they’d never seen before. Coupled to this, as with most of our Zsports events, is a charity initiative to ensure that the event makes a significant impact on local communities and to date the Urban athletes have raised over R800,000 for the various nominated charities of the Urban Run.”
Based at the Donkin Reserve, the balcony of the City, the festival will include children’s activities and entertainment in the KFC Rotary Kids Zone which will be open from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 8am to 1pm on Sunday. Food and craft vendors will be complemented by the Castle Lite Beer Garden whilst entertainment at the venue will include top local magician Brendon Peel, musician Joe van der Linde, Teaspoon the Reach for a Dream clown and the headline entertainment for Sunday morning will be Gino Fabbri.
Sports activities start with an open entry outdoor aerobics class at 9am with Metrogym. A 2.5km Kids Urban Run takes place at 3pm on Saturday for children 13 years and under. All children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by one adult throughout the race. This is followed by a 12km Urban MTB race which starts at 4pm. The feature Urban Run takes place from 9am on Sunday morning with an 8.5km route through the CBD with no fewer than 24 obstacles and 5 Powerade water tables. Late registration for all the events will be between 10am and 2pm on Saturday with all participants required to raise a minimum of R100 for charity over and above their entry fee. Prizes for the top 3 Philanthropists are up for grabs including a floating trophy for the sponsorship company of the best water table and best obstacle as voted by the participants.
“We are expecting a packed event with great spectator vantage points at the Donkin Reserve for the start/finish, Fort Frederick, Lower Valley and the harbour. We encourage residents to come out and support the Urban Athletes and bear witness to ongoing changes within the City.”
All participants who have pre-registered for the events are required to collect their race packs from the Donkin Registration marquee on Saturday between 10am and 2pm. See www.UrbanRun.co.za for further information.
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