2018 Deloitte Challenge bigger, better and a Comrades qualifier once again
24 January 2018 | Web Article Number: ME20188299
THE 2018 Deloitte Challenge promises to be bigger and better than ever with a record field of 8000 expected and bumper prize pool of R90 000 up for grabs.
Now in its fourth year and firmly established as a fixture on the local road running and cycling calendar, the Challenge is run between Ballito and Durban and comprises a Marathon, Half Marathon, Ten-K, 5km fun run and 40km cycle event. For the first time, the Cycle Challenge will attract a share of the prize money.
Thanks to its new 18 March date, the race is once again a Comrades Marathon qualifier, great news for runners looking to add a scenic, relatively flat coastal course to their Comrades training. The route and climate also offer the ideal opportunity for achieving a Personal Best, improving Comrades hopefuls’ seedings.
One of those who will be taking advantage of the opportunity is defending Comrades champion, Bongumusa Mthembu, who will be running the 21km event. “This is a wonderful course and I’m really looking to forward to taking part. In my opinion, the Deloitte Challenge is easily up there with the Two Oceans Marathon and I’m sure that within a few years it’ll be just as iconic for KwaZulu-Natal,” he said, speaking at the launch of the 2018 event in Durban at the weekend.
Mthembu added that sponsor, Deloitte, and host club, Dolphin Coast Striders, were to be congratulated for bringing the event to the racing calendar and establishing it as a sought-after fixture over the past four years.
Last year, race organisers had to change the date from 1 May to 7 May due to a clash with the Tour Durban cycle race. Deloitte KwaZulu-Natal’s Office Managing Partner, Ruwayda Redfearn said they had settled on this year’s 18 March date after canvassing runners and Comrades hopefuls, who felt that it placed the Challenge at an ideal spot between all the big races.
Commenting on the professional services firm’s motivation for sponsoring the event, Redfearn said, “At Deloitte, we remain committed to our global purpose statement of ‘Making an impact that matters’. The Deloitte Challenge gives us an opportunity to make an impact, not just on our clients – many of whom participate in the event – but also our people and our community.”
All Challenge participants are encouraged to donate to the chosen beneficiary, LIV Village, an organisation that provides holistic residential care for orphaned and vulnerable children. These children are placed into a family environment with a trained foster mother to love them.
LIV Village comprises 150 homes for 1000 children on 83 acres. It includes an early childhood development centre, a primary and a secondary school, a health care centre, social service and homes management departments, a farming initiative and LIV factories that provide crucial skills training.
“This worthy cause has received more than R89 350 from the previous three Deloitte Challenges and we’re hoping to significantly bolster that contribution this year,” Redfearn said.
“We also believe that we can impact our community by encouraging ordinary people to live a healthy and more balanced lifestyle, and for this reason the Deloitte Challenge offers something for the entire family, irrespective of age and fitness levels.”
She said the balmy March weather and stunning ocean views along the route made this one of the many events contributing to the growing popularity of sports-related tourism in Durban.
Apart from making for an ideal Comrades qualifier, Redfearn said the 42km was perfect for a first marathon, as it is flat and scenic, or for achieving a personal best.
The finish venue is once again at the Amphitheatre on the Durban Promenade.
All entrants across the Marathon, Half Marathon and Cycle Race events (but not the Ten K and Fun Run) will receive stylish moisture management race shirts and all qualified finishers of all events will receive a medal.
Redfearn urged those interested in participating in one of the race events to challenge colleagues, relatives, classmates and friends to take part, either by approaching them in person or on social media using the #ChallengeYourself hashtag.
Entries close on Wednesday, 7 March 2018 at midnight and no late entries will be accepted.
Runners and cyclists can either enter online at www.Deloittechallenge.co.za or at selected running races in KwaZulu-Natal. For more information about the Deloitte Challenge, prospective entrants should call 080 011 1759 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.