Umhlanga Rocks, a vibrant coastal town known for its holiday atmosphere, took on a new identity on the 5th of November, 2023. The Social Runners Club, led by race organiser Adam Lipschitz and race directors Glen Gore and Mdu Khumalo, launched the first-ever Umhlanga Rocks 10km.
The event’s purpose extended beyond a mere social race; it is aimed at showcasing the potential of urban mornings in Umhlanga, urging locals to experience the area’s untapped potential beyond its renowned nightlife and other daytime activities.
The date marked a turning point for Umhlanga as the streets transformed into a lively running track. With just under 2000 participants, the event became a community celebration.
The organisers, fuelled by a passion for both running and their local community, collaborated with headline sponsor SMG and secondary sponsors like Bellezar, Medisport Pharmacy, Umhlanga Spar, and Yebo Cleaners, all of whom share the vision of unveiling Umhlanga’s morning charm.
The winners, Tayla Kavanaugh and Bongelani Makwanazi left their mark with impressive times of 34:11 minutes and 30:02 minutes over 10 km’s, respectively.
The event’s highlights extended beyond the finish line. The community spirit was palpable as locals lined the streets, offering support and showcasing the beauty of Umhlanga to participants hailing from as far as Pietermaritzburg and Richards Bay. It was more than a race; it was a communal effort to redefine Umhlanga.
The success of the inaugural Umhlanga Rocks 10km set the stage for future endeavours. The organisers are already gearing up for a more extensive event next year, planning to attract 5000 participants. The vision is to make it a weekend of festivities, with additional events enhancing the overall experience. The positive response from the community and participants has fuelled the ambition to grow and showcase Umhlanga as more than just a destination for nightlife.
The Umhlanga Rocks 10km is not just a race; it’s a celebration of community and healthy living. As the sun rises over Umhlanga SMG is thrilled to be part of this new tradition that promises to evolve into a major event on the running calendar, leaving an indelible mark on the town’s identity.