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SPW Contributors

Sanlam Private Wealth

In the run-up to this year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Sanlam Private Wealth was proud to sponsor the 31st iconic WILDSERIES Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge – South Africa’s oldest trail run – in the Royal Natal National Park. The event not only provided an opportunity to support the conservation of this spectacular wild area, but also gave two young runners from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to take part in the Sanlam Cape Town Trail Marathon.

The WILDSERIES Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge, also known as Monties, is one of the most highly sought-after trail challenges in South Africa. The event aims to profile our country’s unique biodiversity and immerse runners in the wild, while raising funds for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and WILDSERIES to support the protection of endangered species, specifically the bearded vulture.

For the top two runners in the 50km Challenge, this year’s race also realised their dreams of participating in an international event. As part of their prize, winner Mlungisi Mazibuko (32) and runner-up Mxolisi Ndlovu (28) won entries into the Cape Town Trail Marathon by Ryan Sandes.

To help get them to the starting line of this event – sponsored by the Sanlam Investment Group – a crowdfunding platform was set up in partnership with the WILDSERIES team, and thanks to the generosity of the running community, the two young trailblazers were able to travel to Cape Town.

Mlungisi, who is a general worker at Sungubala Eco Camp in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site, says being able to participate in the Cape Town Trail Marathon was an ‘unbelievable experience’.

‘It was my first time on an aeroplane, my first time in Cape Town, as well as my first time running on an international stage. I am very grateful to everyone who made this possible.’

Mxolisi, who works as a security guard at the Montusi Mountain Lodge in the Northern Drakensberg, says the Cape Town Trail Marathon was a world-class trail the likes of which he’d never experienced before.

‘It was amazing to see the runners from Cape Town, and they inspired me to want to become a better trail runner so I, too, can ultimately be the best. I hope to take part again in future.’

Both Mlungisi and Mxolisi achieved excellent results in the Cape Town Trail Marathon – Mlungisi took fourth place in the 46km race, while Mxolisi came in fifth in the 22km event.

Says Craig Massey, Regional Head: Durban of Sanlam Private Wealth: ‘We’re delighted to be associated with the WILDSERIES Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge – and to be able to contribute to the conservation of our natural heritage for generations to come. We’re also extremely happy that Mlungisi and Mxolisi were given the opportunity to reach for their dreams, and we wish them every success for future races.’

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