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


On 18 July 2021 Madiba would have turned 103 years old. This is in line with the theme of our 103km running event to be held on this special day Sunday, 18 July 2021.


Participants will touch the landmarks and institutions that made and shaped the former State President & global Icon Tata Nelson Mandela by cycling or running the heritage route:


103km Clarkebury Institution start.

35km Mandela's Qunu home start.

12km Nelson Mandela School of Science start.

7km Lewanika Makgatho Mandela Primary School start.

All distances finish in Mvezo village where he was born.


Free T-shirts to the first 800 entrants.

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





Start Line

Starting at 04h00am "ekuseni ngo4 o'clock, sikhulul'uMandela!" 103km start - Clarkebury village, this is where Nelson's grandfather Mandela was born.  This is the school he attended for 2 years at the age of 16 from 1934-1936.  He stayed with the school headmaster Rev. Harris in his first year at Clarkebury Institution, special preference as he was the nephew of regent King Jongintaba Dalindyebo.

He has said it was at this school where he shook a white man's hand for the first time.  When the regent introduced him to the school headmaster.  The classroom he attended is now a science lab.  One of Madibas duties was to ring the school bell every morning.  Madiba also started the sport of long distance running in this high school, a sport he was quoted as saying, "it gave me discipline and solitariness" attributes he were to later use in his fight against inequality.


The athletes are well catered for with 50 Refreshment Stations along the 103km route.  Some include African dishes, dumplings and hard body chicken (known as uMleqwa in that part of the world) to keep to the heritage theme of the event.

Local Community Participation

The Icon's Journey is a catalyst for local economic development.  Below are some of the products and services to be provided by the local communities:

  • Route refreshment stations

  • Race marshals and assistants

  • Security officials

  • Traditional horseback riders

  • Road side entertainment by traditional artists

  • Stalls with various traditional mementos

The Icon's Journey Marathon works with government Emergency Services and Private Emergency Services to ensure safety for all athletes.



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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