Cape Town - You can already start planning your 2018 New Year resolutions with SANParks' Marakele Marathon.
A Comrades qualifying race, this sprint through the Marakele National Park will take place on 3 March 2018, in partnership with SANPArks Honorary Rangers and Thabazimbi marathon club.
SEE: Cape Town Marathon sets global green standard + iconic marathons mapped
Not ready yet for the big marathon? There will also be a Half Marathon, 10km and 5km fun run. Each race has a 300-person limit, except for the shortest race which is also great for kids and the walkers.
SANParks hopes this run will pull the professional running community and ordinary public together, as everyone takes 'a run on the wild side'.
It aims to focus the public and the media’s attention on the importance of conservation and highlights various fundraising and tourism initiatives that are key to the functioning of a national park.
Not only did the race revert back to its original dates, they also have brand-spanking new logo, highlighting the park's Big Five status.
WATCH: Snow flurries sees Lesotho Ultra Trail go from summer to winter and back again
“We thought that since Marakele is a Big 5 National Park, we should introduce medals that will be unique to the race, and at the end of the five year period one can walk away with all the medals that have Africa’s Big 5 and that is something one can always look back on,” says Marakele Park Manager Mphadeni Nthangeni.
This means that every year from 2018 would have a different medal showcasing one of the Big Five, and a special commemorative medal will be awarded to those who have collected the whole set.
All proceeds of the run will go to conservation within the park, managed by the Honorary Rangers. This year they raised R260,000.
If you think you're up for the challenge, you can start registering at www.racetime.co.za, at your nearest Pick 'n Pay or you can email Elise Coetzer at email@example.com for manual entries. You can also book accommodation at the park for the event at the email address.
Check out below other iconic marathons around the world you need on your running bucket list:
What to read next on Traveller24:
- As Olympics near, South Korea agonizes over post-Games costs, tourism benefits
- #SAHeritage: As Durban glitters with Christmas lights, a new heritage route is announced
- #RoadTrip: Rehab on Eastern Cape's R410 completed with colourful bus stops