As thousands of runners prepare for the Comrades Marathon on Sunday, a group of Cape Town runners have one clear goal in mind – running for the cause of Palestine. The Comrades is an 89.2 km run and arguably one of the toughest marathons as athletes must contend with some inclines. Run between the capital of the Kwazulu-Natal province, Pietermaritzburg, and the coastal city of Durban, the race alternates annually between the “up run” from Durban and the “down run” from Pietermaritzburg.
While there are many Capetonians from local clubs who have travelled to Durban for the big race, the Runners for the Freedom of Palestine will be making their mark. One runner Safoudien Bester from group says will run the entire distance carrying the Palestinian flag. This group of activist runners want to place the spotlight on the injustices again Palestinians who are oppressed and impoverished by the Apartheid state of Israel. While he will hoist the flag all the way, other runners will run with flags on certain sections of the race.
“When that pain and that race get the better of us, we will keep in mind the pain the Palestinians are suffering and we will be the voice of these voiceless people,” says Bester.
The annual event has gained momentum on an international scale after an Algeria racer completed the race at fastest speed. Aiming to advocate against human rights atrocities, the race has become an international symbol for solidarity.
What YOU can do:
-Support the runners by standing with Palestinian flags or paraphernalia anywhere along the route from the start to the finish.
-See how the beautiful flag of freedom is moving along the 89.2 km
-Follow the flag by tracking Safoudien Bester who will be running the entire grueling 89.2 km with the flag.
Use the web link or track from your smart phone using the Ultimate Live app. The app can be downloaded from App Store, Google Play or Windows Phone store – or from http://app.ultimate.dk. Search for your desired runner by name, no race number is required.
The race is scheduled to take place on Sunday 29 May 2016.