City’s fun run a big challenge

PORT Elizabeth’s unique Urban Charity Run and Festival taking place on September 14 and 15 is expected to attract thousands of people into the city CBD in support of what is fast becoming one of the city’s largest charity events.

Established in 2011 to draw people back to the CBD to showcase urban renewal undertaken by the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), the Urban Run features a 10km untimed urban obstacle run through the heart of the city in which participants climb, jump, run and crawl through some of the town’s most historic sites.

“The Urban Run is a nostalgic race through the old part of town, often bringing back fond memories of one’s childhood, while at the same time making a massive difference in the lives of those touched by our nominated charities.” race organiser Mike Zoetmulder of Zports said. “It’s an awesome event with a difference where the Mardi Gras atmosphere is matched with participants dressing up to ‘tackle the city’ in the spirit of fun.”

The festival takes place on the lawns of the Donkin Reserve alongside the lighthouse and the stone pyramid memorial erected in 1861 by Sir Rufane Donkin in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city of Port Elizabeth was named.

From this, the balcony of the city, the Urban Run route winds through the CBD, crisscrossing Route 67 and taking participants through at least 15 exciting urban obstacles and challenges along the 10km route as they make their way back to the Donkin.

Highlights along the route include a cargo net climb into the citadel of Fort Frederick, built in 1799, and running through a Metrorail train at the Port Elizabeth station. Participants run past historic sites such as the Port Elizabeth Lawn Tennis Club – founded in 1879 and the oldest active tennis club in South Africa – and the Port Elizabeth Bowling Green Club, founded in 1882, making it the second-oldest bowling club in the southern hemisphere. One of the many new inclusions to the course this year is the route through the newly revamped Athenaeum at the top of Castle Hill.

The Urban Run website [] is the resource for online entries and further information.

Entry forms are available at Brian Bands Sports in Newton Park, News Café at the Boardwalk, NMBT Tourism information points or Zports (041) 484-7860 at North End Lake.

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