On the 16th of July 2023, the Nelson Mandela Foundation hosted its second annual edition of the Mandela Day Houghton Walk & Run in honour and remembrance of the former South African president and global icon, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. The weather on Sunday was a reflection of what this event symbolised for many of us, a rainbow at the end of a very stormy week. The sun was out on a winter's day and there was a subtle breeze as participants lined up in anticipation of the start gun. The atmosphere was light, positive, harmonious and optimistic. There were smiles, laughter and music as the participants geared up for action. This was an energy that we had not experienced in a long time.
This run was not merely an event on Mandela month, it was a reflection of how people in South Africa can show solidarity, coming together to contribute to lasting, sustainable change.
This year the run began at Houghton Primary School and took the runners and walkers on a journey through the route that Nelson Mandela walked for exercise when he lived in Houghton after his release from Robben Island. This was the perfect way to not just remind people of Mandela’s legacy in a practical manner, through an activity that Nelson Mandela was passionate about, exercise, running and walking.
This year we saw a very diverse group of individuals from all walks of life taking part in the Walk and Run, from the younger generations to older demographics. We able-bodied and people living with disabilities line up to take on this challenge as well as people from different races and cultures - from professional runners to social runners and families just enjoy a day out.
People in South Africa were brought together to celebrate and remember Nelson Mandela but also to give back to the various causes that are close to the heart of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
As we handed the participants their well-earned medals at the finish line, behind the sweat and the sheer exhaustion, a sense of accomplishment was the over-arching feeling for both the participants as well as the organizers and sponsors of this massive event. It was a great way to remember the life and legacy of Madiba.
The winners of the Men’s 21 km run were Raphael Segodi, Rirhandzu Rhangani and Tshepiso Khati. Kirsten Nolan, Mpho Sebalo and Benita Trytsman were the winners in the women’s run.
The women’s 10km winners were Bridget Kee come in first place, Tannith Ross in second place and Melanie Hardcourt-Cooke in third. In the Men’s 10km run, winners were Murundeni Netshituka, Edwin Mpho Rtau, and Randolph Moses.
This event was a true success thanks to all the people who were involved. Subscribe to our newsletter and keep a lookout for our next sporting convening.