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FFebruary 11 marks the anniversary of former president Nelson Mandela’s historic release from Drakenstein Correctional Centre, previously known as the Victor Verster Prison, and his internationally acclaimed and revered, "walk to freedom". To commemorate this historic event, the 27 for Freedom Race was organised to recollect and honour the important steps that Nelson Mandela took to freedom.
It is has become more than just a running event; it is an historic experience that everyone should participate in at least once in their lifetime. It’s a fun-filled family day that helps us to pause, reflect, celebrate and dedicate a moment to nation building across the sport, social, business and political landscapes.
TThe race is a contribution to the safeguarding and promotion of the Nelson Mandela legacy and his historic "rite of passage" that his walk to freedom represents to current and future generations of South Africans.
27 for Freedom race
TThe event caters for the entire family, from toddlers to professional runners. It is a family day bringing together entertainment, history and sport, the key highlight being the scenic 27km race - 1km for each year Madiba spent in prison. The races are broken down into six separate events, namely the main event, which is the 27km race; the 10km walk/run for all levels of fitness; the 10km corporate event for teams of 10 people; the 5km wheelchair-friendly event; the Freedom Route fun walk; and the 50m toddlers dash. There is something for everyone!
TThe route starts in front of the iconic statue of Mandela, takes runners passed the Madiba House, and through adjacent beautiful wine farms before culminating at the sports arena near the entrance.
The objective of the race is to bring communities together to celebrate this historical moment. At this event athletes and visitors can enjoy local performers, huge festivities and a carnival atmosphere. Event organisers have decided to up the ante on the fanfare and added food and novelty stalls, a kids' corner, and several on-the-spot prizes will be given away! Young and old, fit and unfit, urban and rural, are called to join in the fun.
It’s often worth it leaving behind the big lights and taking a road tip to explore small-town cuisine, or even making a trip of it and spending a night or two and exploring what else is on offer.