Health is Wealth Athletics Club in partnership with Nelson Mandela Museum and O.R Tambo District Municipality present the 3rd annual The Icon’s Journey Marathon (a proud member of Proudly South African).

The Icon’s Journey Marathon vision was inspired by President Nelson Mandela’s life journey of growing up in the rural villages of the former Transkei homeland to becoming a Global Icon.

Participants in South Africa’s longest 1 day running event have a unique opportunity to trace Madiba’s footprints from where he  was born, grew up, went to school and is laid to rest.

A unique heritage, tourism and adventure route where participants have an opportunity to also touch the birth places of some of South Africa’s Iconic freedom fighters namely Chris Hani, Walter Sisulu, Mama Albertina Sisulu, King Sabata Dalindyebo, Govan Mbeki and President Thabo Mbeki.

The heritage route distances:

103km Clarkebury Institution start.

35km Nelson Mandela’s Qunu home start.

12km Nelson Mandela Schol of Science and Technology start.

7km Lewanika Makgatho Primary School start.

All distances finish at Mvezo village where he was born.

The only way to finish this challenge is by tapping into your inner Icon.



Following the decision taken by the organising committee of The Icon's Journey Marathon to cancel the physical event which was scheduled for 16-18 July 2021.  It was further resolved to host a virtual challenge The Icon's Journey Marathon event.

Wherever you are …. "Run/Walk/Ride In The Giant's Footsteps"





The 103km route traces the historic landmarks in the early life of the father of our democracy.  The institutions and landmarks that shaped him in his formative years.

It kicks off at Clarkebury Institution - one of the high schools Madiba attended.  It is a high school where amongst many sports, he was introduced to long distance running, a sport he enjoyed until University.  He has been quoted as saying, "it taught me discipline and solitariness" - attributes he went on to use in the war against inequality.

The run proceeds to Mqhekeqweni Great Place, now declared a National heritage site - this is where he was brought up by the regent King Jongintaba Dalindyebo from the age of 12 years.  It was in this great place that his leadership values were embedded in his mind as he inquisitively watched the proceedings of the traditional courts.  This is the halfway mark of the route.  


The race proceeds to Qunu village at 74kms, his rural home where Madiba was laid to rest.  The route is completed in Mvezo where he was born at the 103km mark.

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