Run at pulse of the city

THIS weekend sees the city's sold-out ultimate charity run – the Urban Run Nelson Mandela Bay – and the event promises to be as much of a blast of fun for participants and spectators as the recent Color Run.

Organiser Michael Zoetmulder, of Zports, said the race – which starts and ends at the Donkin Reserve in the centre of the city – has 17 exciting urban obstacles.

"There is no more messing around with the fairies in the powder – it's time to tackle the city," said Zoetmulder. "From the starting point, participants will head up Donkin Street. The first obstacle, which involves climbing through stormwater drains, is in Chapel Street.

"Everyone will be able to discover structures in our city while jumping over traffic barriers in Govan Mbeki Avenue. [They will also] climb into Fort Frederick, run through tyres, tackle an electric fence, climb buildings, cross rivers and basically have a ball while rediscovering Port Elizabeth's city centre with friends, colleagues and family."

And, for those who were afraid of the distance – 10km is twice the distance of many other fun runs – he has reassuring words. Because there are so many obstacles, the Urban Run is more like several shorter runs, with many chances to stop and catch your breath, so "this is one 10km race you can do".

This Saturday's Kids' Urban Run – for children aged six to 15 – is run over the first 3km of the adult course and involves the first four obstacles.

Zoetmulder said the Urban Run was like no other race: "it's such a unique and different event, a different way to become re-acquainted with the city and a wonderful way to support local charities. We believe people are always looking for something different, and the Urban Run gives them just that – a festival, an awesome event and a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community."

Entries are limited to 1500 adults and 300 children. Though the race was sold out, Zoetmulder said prospective entrants could call the Zports office today or tomorrow to see if there had been any withdrawals. There is, however, unlimited space for spectators, who are encouraged to support friends and family, with the best view likely to be on the Donkin.

"We have two obstacles at the Donkin and hope to transmit still images back from each of the obstacles during the race onto our large 5m by 3m screen," he said. The run starts at 9am and is non-timed.

ýFor more information, contact Zports on (041)484-7860.