Awareness for the Rhino: Marakele Big 5 Marathon

All is set for a unique marathon dedicated to the big five animals, the Marakele Marathon hosted for the 10th year in Marakele National Park outside Thabazimbi in Limpopo is scheduled for Saturday, 2 March 2019.

Apart from giving access to runners to explore South Africa’s natural heritage, the marathon is an important event for runners as it is a qualifier for the pan-ultimate Comrades Marathon.

This is according to Sipho Mkhwanazi, Northern Region Communications Manager, who said over 800 runners from various provinces have registered to be part of this unique marathon. “This is a clear indication that people are starting to take interest in their national parks while enjoying a run in their natural environment.”

Mkhwanazi said although the marathon has been taking place for the last ten years… “last year a decision was made to dedicate each year to a member of the ‘Big 5 animal and Marakele National Park is an ideal venue as it hosts all of the Big 5 animals.”

He said this has mostly contributed to the huge participation as runners have a keen interest in collecting all ‘Big 5’ medals leading to a commemorative medal of all the ‘Big 5 animals at the end of year five. “At the start of the Big 5 campaign in 2018 the year was dedicated to the leopard and this year we are raising awareness for the rhino.”

2019 Save The Rhino Marakele Marathon 2
Photo: Facebook

This marathon is organised in partnership with the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Coca-Cola Beverages SA.
Nathalie Hendricks, Regional Public Affairs Manager for Coca Cola Beverages SA stated that initiatives such the Marakele Marathon are ideal to demonstrate our commitment to investing in our planet and people, we have forged valuable partnerships with communities and organisations such as SANParks.

She said this is event gives Coca Cola a competitive edge in investing in the wellbeing and development of our local communities as well as the opportunity to shift the mind-set of our consumers whilst encouraging responsible waste management habits and the overall wellbeing of those who purchase our product… “all proceeds will be invested back to conservation.”

Johan van der Merwe, Chairman of the Honorary Rangers, Marakele Region added “participants can choose to complete the full marathon 42.2km, a half marathon or the 10 km race. In addition, a 5 km fun run for the whole family is included, which is very popular among children and casual supporters.

Each year, the race offers a prize money purse of more than R50,000 in total. Participants will be limited to 300 runners per distance, although there is no limitation on the fun run.”

Participants can contact us via our Facebook page – Marakele Marathon. Also, participants can enter online at: or enter manually at:
Thabazimbi Pick n Pay,
Friday 1 March and Saturday 2 March, morning before the race at the Marakele National Park gate.

For additional info, send an e-mail to
For previous media statements please go to

Feature Photo (Facebook): This year’s event is the Year of the Rhino and once again we’ll have the fantastic folks from Running Rhinos taking part. Please cheer them on and give them massive support in what will be a very hot day out
See more at:

2019 Marakele Marathon 2019 A5_R