Langa Run for Freedom to use proceeds to develop future champions on Cape Flats
For those who are fortunate enough to have lived through South Africa's first democratic election, they will often recall the amazing sense of Ubuntu that settled like a great cloud over the entire country. Where violence had been expected in the lead up to April 27, 1994, it turned out to be one of the most peaceful days in the nation's history as millions of black, white, coloured and Indian citizens stood in queues to cast their ballots. It is that spirit which Aubrey Isaacs and his team are hoping to recreate when hundreds converge on one of the country's oldest townships to take part in the Retail Capital Langa Run for Freedom tomorrow.
"The idea behind this event is to bring runners together from across the city in the spirit of peace and togetherness, to celebrate Freedom Day and all that it represents," explained Isaacs. "We encourage runners to bring along friends and families to support them and to soak up the township vibe on the day. We know that, for many, this will be their first township experience, and we hope it will be the first of many.”
The 10km and 6km routes will start at the Langa Sports Stadium and then take runners past some of the township’s well-known sites. Residents are expected to line the streets to cheer runners on while they run, passing by landmarks like erstwhile national songbird Brenda Fassie’s house on Makana Circle. Isaacs who is also the founder of the Retail Capital Langa Running Club has assured runners who are planning to make the trip to Cape Town's oldest township for the festivities, that their safety is the club's top priority.
"Anyone who has organized a street run will know what it takes to pull off a well-organized event of this magnitude, and we are confident it will be a success. We are working closely with the Traffic Department and have roped in our local community policing forum (CPF) to safeguard the route. We intend to establish it as Langa’s flagship running event,” he adds.
Entrants can register to participate on Entry Ninja until Monday 25 April or at the venue on race day from 05:00 to 07:00. Entry fees range from R50 – R120 for the 10 kilometre run and from R20 – R30 for the 6 kilometre run. The proceeds from the event will be invested directly back into the athletics club where specific programs are developed to uplift the young people in the area. For example retried top runner Makhosonke Fika who holds a 2:10:16 marathon personal best and hails from Langa is now working with the club to develop future champions.
"Makhosonke because he is known in Langa, it's something that we thought that the kids could look up to. There's somebody from our township who's achieved and therefore I can also coming from this background, reach where he is reached. Even in Bonteheuwel, we have Graham Meyer who ran for South Africa in the 100km races. He is known in Bonteheuwel and he's someone that the kids look up to. So it is important that we keep them in the sport so that they can plough back to their communities," he concluded.