The highlight was the 42.2km marathon, which started at the Manaye Hall in Edendale where Nelson Mandela made his last public speech before his arrest in 1961.
On Sunday, Ethiopian runner Sintayehu Legese Yinesu was the first to cross the finish line at the capture site where Mandela was arrested in 1962.
Winner of the women’s category was Loice Jebet from Kenya.
Now in its seventh year, the marathon is organised by Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and uMgungundlovu District Municipality.
Congratulating the winners, including 21.1km men’s category winner Bernard Bii from Kenya, and in the women’s category Mamorallo Tjoka from Lesotho, the organising committee said they lived up to the Mandela 100 theme, #BeTheLegacy.
“Some 24000 registered runners have run the legacy in various disciplines during Nelson Mandela’s centenary year, creating a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone present. The human spirit has once again triumphed,” said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
She was also referring to the Mandela Day Marathon MTB Dash, a cycling race won by Candice Lill in the women’s category and Matthys Beukes in the men’s category. There was also a trail run and 10km race for enthusiasts.
Mandela’s eldest grandson, iNkosi Mandla Mandela, participated with his wife Nosekeni Rabia Mandela and their son Mntwanenkosi Mandela Ikraam Mandela, 1.
Madiba treasured children, he said earlier at the opening of the newly renovated Edendale Hospital paediatric ward.
The ward is home to more than 40 sick children from disadvantaged backgrounds ranging from newborns to 13-year olds.
Its renovation was thanks to a R350 000 sponsorship from Absa and The Lion Match Company’s subsidiary company NSP Unsgaard and their brand Cherubs.
Mandela expressed his gratitude for the “wonderful donation” to ensure there was a state-of-the art facility for the sick children.
“This is a result of the marathon’s charity work, so we are very excited as the Mandela royal family that it is not only a gathering to partake in the long walk to freedom, recalling Madiba’s old journey (on the marathon route), but we are also en- suring that we are bettering the lives of the most needy children in our country.”
He said his grandfather treasured and loved children so it was befitting that in celebrating Mandela 100, children be provided a safe and protected environment for them to get health care.
Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo also thanked the sponsors, saying: “We are grateful that they’ve decided to honour and respect the contribution of Nelson Mandela, whose love for children was enormous.”