Entries for the 2016 Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race opened this week ahead of the city’s iconic and unique man versus machine biathlon relay race on Sunday 2nd October.
Re-introduced in 2014 in a new and exciting format between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, this year’s Train Race is expecting to attract over 250 teams comprising of 5 runners and 1 Mountain Bike cyclist as the teams take on a Metrorail train over a distance of 38km.
This year sees the addition of an individual category to the event which already caters for Company, School, Social and Club Teams.
The route is divided into 6 stages with the race starting from the historic Port Elizabeth railway station. The first stage takes runners from the PE Station along Swartkops Road to Sydenham Station where the race baton is handed over to a team mate at the Caltex Eastern Cape sponsored change-over point. Stage two, the shortest leg of the race, takes the teams along Grahamstown Road to opposite New Brighton Station for the 2nd change-over point.
Stage three ends in the riverside village of Swartkops where the Town Lodge will host a festive change-over point for the transition from runners to Mountain Bikers.
Cyclists then make their way through the picturesque village of Redhouse and along the railway lines to Perseverance where they hand over to their 5th team mate. Stage 5 takes the runners from Perseverance station through to Despatch Station where the teams last runners will set-off for the longest leg of the race taking the teams into Uitenhage Station.
In 2014 the inuagral event was won by IAC Investments in a time of 1hr 57min 56 sec, finishing just behind the train. Last year’s race saw the top 3 teams all beating the train with Gamble Pharmacy beating the IAC Investments team by just over 5 minutes, finishing in a time of 1hr 57min and 08 seconds.
Once again the Gamble Pharmacy team who are dominating the Town Lodge Night Relay monthly winter series will be starting as race favourites.
Entry fees for the Train Race event are just R700 for a corporate team, R600 for a Social Team, R500 for club teams, R400 for school teams and R200 per individual. Spectator Train tickets will also be made available on the train at just R60 each.
Through this event, the organisers draw attention to the needs of those living within the communities along the route and would like to highlight the fantastic work that non-profit organisation Love Story are doing to assist such communities. All teams are asked to assist with donations towards Love Story in the build-up to the Train Race event in October.
Local companies wanting to get branding exposure through the event are able to sponsor a Change-over point or a water table point along the route.
Naming rights to the various train coaches are also available to local companies with a package that includes 60 train tickets. Online registration and complete information on the Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race event are available on www.trainrace.co.za.