About the Freedom Marathon
As the dawn of democracy spread its wings over apartheid South Africa 21years ago, there was much rejoicing and happiness among all the people of the country .Freedom had at last been attained and the nation had spoken in one voice!
For the community of Chatsworth and the rest of the country to remember this historic occasion, the Chatsworth Athletic Club, twenty years ago, co-ordinated a 52km ultra marathon to be run through the streets of Chatsworth. The FREEDOM MARATHON was born ! From a small field of about 300 runners ,the field has now swelled to about 2500 runners annually testing their stamina and endurance in this ideal route tester which is arduous and challenging.
For the past twenty years ,the club itself has been the major sponsor of this mammoth undertaking. KFC and ACSA have also assisted in some years and so has ICESA, owned by Leo Chetty.The Club is very grateful to these sponsors who assisted in the past.New sponsors are being sought.
The 52km Chatsworth Freedom Marathon is an undulating route which is predominantly run through the sprawling residential areas of Chatsworth. It is a one lap course with some sections of the route being repeated. Many kilometres of the race will be run along the major Higginson Highway and about 4km will be run along the scenic and wooded Silverglen Nature Reserve. This section of the race normally rejuvenates the tired runners as they take in the scenery and large gulps of fresh natural air into their lungs.
There are about 22 well stocked tables along the route catering for the needs of the runners. Chatsworth residents,volunteers and sport-loving people man the watering points from as early as 4h00 in the morning.The traditional Chatsworth hospitality of bangra,eastern and western music is found blaring out at most watering tables.A festive atmosphere seems to envelope the running route which gives the runners an added impetus.
This has been a trouble –free marathon over the years and the Club hopes to maintain this impeccable record.
The two time ex Comrades winner Stephen Muzhingi From Zimbabwe commented that the Chatsworth Freedom Ultra Marathon was the best training ground for the onslaught on the Comrades. This was after he had won the Chatsworth Ultra twice and then went on to repeat this feat at the Comrades.
The Freedom Marathon is another symbol of democratic freedom achieved in the face of adversity,racism and corruption. Long may the Light of Freedom shine in our beloved Country!!