2017 sees the 40th edition of the annual Dick King Half Marathon/Walk, which will take place on Easter Sunday, 16 April. The race will start and finish at the Amanzimtoti Main Beach, Beach Road opposite Spur at 6 am.
This year’s event is perfectly timed over a long weekend, giving participants the opportunity to indulge in both exercise and recreation, whilst holidaying on the beautiful South Coast, and then having time out to recuperate before getting back to the grind.
The Dick King Marathon and 15km Walk is organised by the Amanzimtoti Athletics Club, with marketing assistance provided by the Sapphire Coast Tourism. The historic half marathon attracts a number of runners and walkers to the breathtakingly scenic KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
“This is a great opportunity for those who could not go to the Two Oceans in Cape Town. It is an awesome run for them to enjoy, not to mention the balmy weather and superb scenery along the way,” said Sapphire Coast Tourism’s Monique Botha. “Both locals and visitors to the South Coast can have a fun Easter weekend, getting in some exercise, as well as celebrating the long weekend. Sapphire Coast Tourism is very excited about the race and looks forward to welcoming all our visitors to its sandy shores,” she added.
Chairman of the Amanzimtoti Athletics Club, Alan Payne said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for community members, local businesses, holidaymakers and athletes to collectively get involved. Our club will ensure that every effort is made to ensure that everyone is safe on race day.” Payne highlighted that local businesses and the hospitality industry stood to greatly benefit especially as the race was taking place over the school holidays.
The Metro Police will approve all safety and security plans which will include an ambulance and rescue bus on race day, as well as emergency respondents. Refreshment tables will be placed every 3km along the route providing participants with water and Coca-Cola. The lead car – sponsored by Hyundai – will also assist in keeping participants safe.
The race is separated into a 21km run and a 15km walk that takes competitors from Beach Road through to Illovo and back. Last year the 21km was won by Michael Mzobe (men’s division) in a time of 1:08:09, and Janie Grundling (women’s division) in a time of 1:21:10. Vukani Molonge (men’s division) took the 15km walk in a time of 1:16:39 and Natalie Le Roux (women’s division) not far behind in a time of 1:26:27. Past winners are expected to participate in the hopes of retaining the prestigious title.
The race originated in 1976 and was started by the first chairman of the now Amanzimtoti Athletics Club – Peter Malone – who named it after the British trader and colonist, Dick King. South African history books often boast about King’s epic journey from Port Natal to Grahamstown to warn against the impending Boer attack. Along the way, King and his horse stopped in Amanzimtoti. The Dick King race is essentially along part of the same route he would have taken.
Sapphire Coast Tourism encourages local businesses and the community to support athletes on race day. “Pack a breakfast picnic and join in the early morning fun to support the runners,” said Botha.
The race begins at 6 am on Beach Road in front of Spur and finishes in front of Valentinos
The race categories include open, 35-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+ and junior male or female. The winning runners will both receive the illustrious marathon trophies and the top three competitors in the male and female open category and the top two competitors in all senior categories will receive a cash prize. The first place junior runner will also be eligible for a cash prize. Every participant will also receive a T-shirt and a race medal on completion of the race.
Entries for the race are open online at www.eventtiming.co.za at a cost of R150 for the 21km run and R120 for the 15km walk. Pre-entry for the race closes on at midnight on 13 April 2017.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) April 5, 2017