Preparations for the third annual Kaya FM 67KM Relay are in full swing, as it was officially launched yesterday evening. A Captain’s Reception event was held for the captains of the participating teams.
The theme of the relay, which is fully supported and endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, hangs on Madiba’s words, “It’s in your hands now”. The rallying cry encourages all South Africans to contribute to a better country, to be the custodians of integrity and volunteer whenever possible to help those around them. Sello Hatang, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, says all of the relay participants are “The beacons of light in their environments, upholding the principles that Tata Nelson Mandela gave us to take forward.”
The race was moved from July to Sunday 6 September to reinforce the idea that every day is a Mandela Day. Hatang added that by hosting the event during heritage month, South Africans should embrace the concept of committing to helping others as part of the heritage that Mandela left us. This is what we pass on to generations to come.
Aside from the date change, the event also found a new home this year. It is moving from the Waterfall Estate Polo Fields in Sunninghill to the Nasrec Expo Centre in the south of Johannesburg. Greg Maloka, managing director of Kaya FM, says the change of location is due to the event’s continuous growth since it launched, leading to the need to identify a larger venue, with capacity to accommodate many more people.
“We have been greatly encouraged by the support of corporates, the running community, and that of every-day South Africans, who come out every year to run with their friends, colleagues and family members, in remembering the values and principles that Tata Nelson Mandela lived for,” said Maloka. “We are grateful to the Waterfall Estate Polo Fields for hosting this relay at inception, and we are confident that we can only continue to grow at the new home of the Kaya FM 67km Relay – the Nasrec Expo Centre,” he added.
The event will be hosted by Parks Tau, Mayor of the City of Johannesburg. Every year the race has seen strong corporate representation with race organisers, GSE, seeing this year as no different. They have set a target of 1 200 teams of 1o people, with a further 12 000 runners expected to register on race day. “Our entries are currently open and we’re encouraging those who have run the relay in the last two years to register again. And we are also appealing to all of corporate South Africa to commit to running this race, and extend the reach of the support they gave Mandela Day, a few weeks ago,” said GSE.
The relay has also, in the past, attracted celebrities including globally acclaimed marathon and ultramarathon athlete Bruce Fordyce, and South Africa’s Miss Earth finalists who ran it last year. There is something for everyone at the relay with families encouraged to enter the Family Race, which will allow younger runners to participate in a relay distance that is suitable for them.
Entertainment is always on the cards after the race, and this year’s event will include more celebrity involvement and music performances. The relay stage has seen great talent from The Soil and former Liquideep member, Ziyon.