Urban Run about fun

SEPTEMBER will see the third Nelson Mandela Bay Urban Run taking place in Port Elizabeth, which is expected to once again draw thousands of people to the heart of the CBD over the weekend of September 14 and 15. The event showcases Mandela Bay Development Agencies (MBDA) urban renewal projects.

Started in 2011, the Urban Run was initiated by event organiser Mike Zoetmulder of Zports as a means of bringing people back into the original CBD in a fun event which provides a boost for Bay charities.

It all started one Sunday morning in February 2011 when Zoetmulder took his family through the old CBD areas where he had played as a young boy. Struck by the rejuvenation taking place, Zoetmulder set up a meeting with MBDA chief executive Pierre Voges, which resulted in a promise that Zports would bring people back to the CBD to witness this urban renewal.

The first Urban Run in Port Elizabeth took place in September 2011, with about 340 participants tackling a 12km obstacle course through the city and raising just over R40000 for charity.

Last year the route was changed to a 10km course and saw a 300% increase in entries as about 1200 participants raised more than R200000 for charity. This year the increase is expected to be similar as about 1000 entries have already been received.

The success of the run is that it is more a fun event than a competitive one, with participants entering in large groups and dressing up to climb, crawl and run down memory lane. Zoetmulder said: “This year the event is a non- timed no-position event where we focus entirely on creating more exciting obstacles.”

Proceeds will be shared between Khaya Cheshire in Walmer Township, an outreach project of the Summerstrand Cheshire Home, and Cleft Friends, a project of the Smile Foundation.

Proceeds from the Kids Urban Run will go to the Nelson Mandela Bay Scouts movement. Bay companies are encouraged to sponsor one of the obstacles or have an exhibition stand at the festival. Further information and online entry is available on the Urban Run website www.urbanrun.co.zaor by picking up an entry form from selected sports shops in Port Elizabeth or at News Café at the Boardwalk. Zports can be contacted on (041) 484-7860 for further information.

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