The first runners of 2019 Mandela Marathon have made it across the finish line between Pietermaritzburg and Howick. The aim of the marathon is to pay tribute former President Nelson Mandela.

Over 20 000 runners are participating in this year’s race.

Initiated in 2012, the marathon consists of 42 kilometre, 21 kilometre and 10 kilometre races.

The marathon kicked off from Manayi Hall at Imbali township where Mandela made his last public speech on March the 25th 1961.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has just completed the 10 kilometre race.

“I finished at least within 1 hour 4 minutes. It’s always good to run and it is part of ensuring that we encourage healthy lifestyle, but for us as government in KwaZulu-Natal Mandela Marathon has grown to become what it is. We started it 8 years ago – it is now big whenever we open the registration within few weeks you find that we have reached the target … we want to thank the people of Africa for supporting us.”

Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela and some of his family members are also participating in this year’s race.