The People’s Race -as the historical marathon is called- will as from today be known as the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon.
This follows millions invested by one of the biggest insurance companies in South Africa, to back the historical marathon over three-years. It takes place on November 1, 2015.
It was revealed yesterday at a press brief at another historical site the Walter Sisulu Square, Soweto-that sits between Pimville and Eldorado Park.
Speaking exclusively to SLM, the Chief Marketing Officer at Old Mutual for Emerging Markets Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe said they’ve invested over R16m per annum for the next three-years, optional for review.
“As a company we’re happy with our decision to re-negotiate our way back to sponsor one of the historical marathons in the country,” he says gladly.
“The R500m investment for the next three-years would help to propel both our brand and the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon to greater heights, as a strategic decision by the company since it is known we sponsor other portfolios within sport in the country,” says Dilotsotlhe, who also pointed out that the talks began last year in October to come back in the fold.
Old Mutual used to sponsor the marathon ten years ago.
“It was a conscience decision to return following reports that the marathon was no longer going to take place and there was in-fighting that plagued the organization,” he said.
“Last year the race was partnered by Nike, but this year we have an exciting new naming sponsor committed to taking the marathon to lofty new heights,” said Sello Khunou, executive chairperson of the Soweto Marathon Trust.
The route of the iconic marathon will change this year, according to the organizers, who said the marathon will now be accommodative as runners will run through Soweto households instead of industrial route.
The purse from last year has been elevated from R100 000 to R200 000 for both female and male winners, and Sowetan Mapaseka Makhanya says she will for the very first time in her running career enter the 42.2 km race. True to the notion that ‘fak’ imali uzobona’
Others will vie for the half-marathon (21.1 km) and the 10 km race, respectively. More than 21 000 or 70% of runners are expected this year.
“For us it’s about taking the race to another level -stabilize it, grow and internationalise it,” continued Dilotsotlhe, who himself is an athlete.
MEC for Sport in Gauteng Mme Molebatsi Bopape says as the Province they look forward welcoming thousands of internationals but warned that this year, they stand no chance of winning the race just like they did last year.
“I’m ecstatic at the fact the old sponsorship has come back to us, where it belongs. On a lighter note though, mine is to encourage our athletes, particularly young-ones to be prepared mentally and train as hard as possible for this historical marathon. A lot is at stake,” says former runner and cancer survivor Thulani Sibisi, who is a Soweto Marathon Board member.
The Old Mutual Soweto Marathon is sanctioned by Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA), ASA and IAAF.
It starts and ends at Nasrec Expo Center, Nasrec.
Entries are NOW open and for further info go to:www.sowetomarathon.com or send email@example.com and close October 6, 2015. Call 061 917 1001 or 061 918 1002