By Al Qalam Reporter
A group of Palestinians activist runners, famously known as “Right to Movement” (RTM), are participating in the Two Oceans Marathon currently underway in Cape Town to raise awareness of Israel’s Occupation of Palestinians land.
They were warmly welcomed at a special media event held at the office of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS-SA) in Braamfontein on Monday. They were co-hosted by other affiliate groups, such as the Embassy of Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA) and the PSA Youth League.
The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Thulas Nxesi, warmly welcomed the visitors to South Africa and praised them for their activism through sport.
The RTM group were founders of the Palestine Marathon, first held in the West Bank in 2012. The marathon has since become a landmark event each year in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem with over 6000 runners from across the world taking part.
The symbolic event is a 42km (26-mile) sports activity in protest against Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement. The route also includes running through two Palestinian refugee camps and along Israel’s 8 meter high Apartheid wall. Palestinians have explained how participation in the marathon is a non-violent demonstration and a way to show that “we are here, and this is our land, and we have right to move”.
In the Two Oceans Marathon, RTM participants will run with the symbols of Palestine, although political statements are not allowed.
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, which is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful sporting events, invites local and international competitors to push their bodies to the limit on Easter Saturday.
As in past, the grueling 56-km run (the ultra marathon), alongside the 21-km half marathon and the various associated trail and fun runs, draws sporting enthusiasts from across the globe to the scenic Cape Peninsula for a unique and trying athletic experience.