SIPHO Mataka, a 39-year-old firefighter will run the Mandela Marathon to raise money for the Denis Hurley Centre.
The centre, based in the inner city, works with the various belief systems to serve Durban’s needy.
Two generations of runners are united in their support for the Denis Hurley Centre. Monsignor Paul Nadal, (86), is a resident of Garden Grove in Berea, but despite his age, he remains fit and active.
Over the years has used his love of racing to raise money for the construction of the Denis Hurley Centre, named after his mentor and the man for whom he worked as assistant for many years, Archbishop Denis Hurley.
Mgr Nadal has completed six Comrades Marathons as well as running standard marathons, cycling the Cape Argus and walking the Camino Santo in Spain. In the end, he raised hundreds of thousands of Rand for the Denis Hurley Centre, which he still serves as a Patron and a Trustee.
He was delighted to meet Sipho, who started running because of the need to keep fit as a firefighter, though he admits he was far from fit when at school. Now he is addicted to long-distance running. This will be his fourth Mandela Marathon. He has also run the Durban City, Soweto, Two Oceans and JZ Zuma Marathons and five Comrades Marathons.
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The route of the Mandela Marathon is full of history. It starts at the Arya Samaj (Manayi) Hall in Imbali, where the future President made his last public speech on 25 March 1961; it ends at the site just outside Howick where Madiba was captured on 5 August 1962.
Sipho explained why he wanted to run for the Denis Hurley Centre: “I ask myself how I can help people who are helpless? I am not rich but my daily life is good. At the same time, I am aware of people who cannot even get something to eat.” He hopes that people will sponsor him to increase his motivation: “That way, when I am killing myself running, at least I know I am doing it for a good cause!”
Mgr Nadal thought that having someone run the Mandela Marathon seemed so appropriate. “It may be a long walk to freedom but it is an even longer run for fundraising!”
To sponsor Sipho, email Mandela100@denishurleycentre.org or call 031 301 2240. To sponsor on-line by credit card or EFT, go to http://www.doit4charity.co.za/Sipho.Mataka . In honour of Mandela’s prison number, Sipho has set himself a target of R46,664. This would be enough for the DHC to serve almost 800 homeless people and refugees in its clinic.