Is there another marathon in the world as steeped in history as the Old Mutual Soweto Marathon?
Probably not. The route takes runners past landmarks made famous by Soweto’s central role in the struggle against apartheid. Here’s a quick guide to the best places to take a selfie (if you’re so inclined):
* The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the third largest hospital in the world with 3 400 beds and 6 760 staff members, is within two kilometres of the start
* Walter Sisulu Square, the birthplace in 1955 of The Freedom Charter, which outlined the vision of a non-racial South Africa based on liberty and civil rights, is reached at about seven kilometres
* The Regina Mundi Catholic Church, which played a supporting role in the anti-apartheid struggle years and hosted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings. It is 14km into the run
* Morris Isaacson High School, where learners played a central role in the Soweto Uprising of 1976, after 19km
* Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world that has been home to two Nobel Prize winners: former South African President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. By now you have passed the halfway mark and, at 26km, are on your way home
* The Hector Pieterson Memorial, named in honour of the 13-year-old who was one of the first fatal victims of police action during the Soweto Uprising, at 29km
Then of course there is the start and finish venue, the iconic FNB Stadium, popularly known as ‘Soccer City’ or ‘The Calabash’.
This is more than just a tour through the warm heart of Soweto, it is a journey through our tumultuous history.