Matthew Sledge, 51, of Kensington, Johannesburg, is up for an extraordinary challenge on Sunday, when he will run the 10K at the Mandela Day event in Houghton…at a Speedo.
This year’s event is of great importance as it marks the tenth anniversary of the death of former President Nelson Mandela.
Driven by his unwavering enthusiasm to support the amazing work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sledge aims to make waves with his unique fundraising efforts.
Matthew Sledge, 51, of Kensington, Johannesburg, is up for an extraordinary challenge on Sunday, when he will run the 10K at the Mandela Day Houghton event.
“The sole purpose of the race is to honor Madiba on the 10th anniversary of his death by raising money for the foundation and pushing it towards education,” Sledge told News24.
He said his partner Belinda had persuaded him to run on one of the coldest days of the year, hoping it would attract more sponsorship interest.
The South African Service of Meteorology (SAWS) said Sunday’s temperatures will reach lows of three degrees Celsius in the morning and reach highs of 18 degrees during the afternoon.
It should heat up in the coming days, SAWS forecaster Samkilesiwe Thuala said.
Sledge said his race would start at 08:00 at Houghton Elementary School on Houghton Drive. It will end in the same place.
He added, “It is an extra special route as it takes us through Madiba’s home and the head office of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. There will be around 3,000 participants taking part in the catharsis as we honor the great man.”
“We hope the audience will come out and support us all.”
He will run the 10K bobsleigh on Sunday.
In a generous gesture, Speedo’s provider, Howard, has pledged R10,000 to the Cancer Society of South Africa (CANSA) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation in recognition of Sledge’s involvement.
Echoing Mandela’s sentiments, that education is one of the most powerful weapons you can use to change the world, Sledge said he hopes the money raised will contribute to the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to educate and empower many others.
Sledge hopes to raise no less than R50,000Which he says would go a long way to help the foundation help those in need.
“I’m looking forward to the race. The weather leading up to Mandela Day is always incredible, and I’ve been using the last few chilly days to prepare for my run.”
He said Belinda would be waiting for him at the finish line with an Amarula coffee “and a mantle, of course.”