Port Elizabeth’s unique Urban Charity Run and Festival taking place on the 14th and 15th of September 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 where participants to 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, whilst at the same time making a massive difference in the lives of those touched by our nominated charities.” said race organiser Mike Zoetmulder of Zports. “An awesome event with a difference where the Mardi Gras type 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 stone Pyramid Monument 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 the cargo net climb into the citadel of Fort Frederick, built in 1799, and running through a Metrorail train at the Port Elizabeth station. Running past historic sites such as the Port Elizabeth Lawn Tennis Club (PELTC), the oldest active tennis club in South Africa having started in 1879 and host to the first South African Lawn Tennis Championship in 1891 and “The Mother Club of Bowls in South Africa” – the Port Elizabeth Bowling Green Club, founded on August 14, 1882 and being the second oldest bowling club in the Southern Hemisphere. One of the many new inclusions to the course this year will take participants through the newly revamped Athenaeum at the top of Castle Hill.
The success of the past two years as evidenced by feedback from all quarters, regarding the quality of organization, great entertainment and most importantly the great exposure of the rejuvenated parts of our City, has ensured the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) support for 2013 with plans to consider an even longer term partnership of the Festival. Numerous local companies are also backing the support through sponsorship of the various obstacle and water tables along the route.
“As the MBDA, we applaud visionary entrepreneurs such as Michael Zoetmulder of Zports and others who see these opportunities and capitalize on them” said Luvuyo Bangazi, spokesperson for the MBDA. “It is the objective of the MBDA to stimulate and support ideas like the Urban Run in all the areas the Agency is developing such as Kings Beach, Singaphi Road, Helenvale and Baakens Valley.”
Whilst there are numerous popular urbanathlon style events around the world, the Nelson Mandela Bay Urban Run is unique in its support of local charities and the use of historic landmarks as the urban obstacles.
“The Urban Run is a great opportunity for many who have not been through the revived inner city and central areas to come through and see some of the amazing development work that’s happened over the last few years” added Bangazi, “we encourage everyone, families, corporates, churches and basically anyone who lives or works in and around Nelson Mandela Bay to put their entries through quickly before the event is sold out.”
The nominated charities for the 2013 Urban Run are Khaya Cheshire, an outreach project of the Summerstrand Cheshire Homes, which looks after mentally and physically disabled children and youth living in the impoverished Walmer Township, and Cleft Friends, a project of the Smile Foundation offering group support for parents and medical professionals dealing with babies born with cleft palates. Proceeds from the Kids Urban Run, which takes place on the Saturday afternoon, will go in support of creating better leaders and youth within our society as we create awareness and support for the Nelson Mandela Bay Scouts movement.
The Urban Run Festival will take place over two days with a program of live music, entertainment and exhibitors at the iconic Donkin Reserve. The ‘beat of the festival’ will be ensured by African Drumbeat throughout the weekend with great interactive activities. The Rotary Club of PE Sunrise will once again host the Crickley Dairy Kids Zone where kids can be left to play whilst the folks enjoy the activities or relax in the Mitchell’s Beer Garden.
These businesses support MyPE:
MyPE supports PE business: