702’s Breakfast Show host, Xolani Gwala will be running the London Marathon this Sunday, with one lucky listener who won her spot through an on-air campaign with Virgin Atlantic earlier this year.
In the buildup to Sunday's run, Xolani and his team are braving the early Spring chills, exploring the British capital's historic and cutting- edge landmarks and sampling some of its fine cuisine. He has shared much of his experience on air as he broadcasts live from his Hotel near iconic Tower Bridge.
Click on the gallery below to see what the team have been up to so far!
But the highlight of this business trip was always going to be running through the streets of London - in the legendary London Marathon. It has been a bucketlist item for Gwala, and most probably for his competition prizewinner too!
Participants were encouraged to motivate why they wanted to run the marathon to stand a chance to win the trip and run for a cause close to their hearts.
The winner, Jane Kabinga, will be running to celebrate children with disabilities. Jane is the mother of three gorgeous girls, the second one (7-years-old) suffers from a disability called Arthrogryposis. While it wasn’t part of the original prize, Virgin Atlantic extended the invitation to Jane’s daughter as they understand how inspiring it will be for her to watch athletes with physical challenges to perform at such a high level.
Watch the draw in which Jane found out she had won...
Virgin Atlantic are hosting mum and daughter in addition to Xolani and his team - to ensure that their London experience is one that they will never forget.
Liezl Gericke, Country Manager of Virgin Atlantic in South Africa says, “We’re really excited to work with 702 and to be part of this life changing experience with Xolani Gwala and Jane Kabinga. We understand that business is an adventure and air travel is an essential part of that journey. Whether you’re selling your first idea or floating your company we’re here to help your business take off with our daily services to London Heathrow, and onward connections to the US.
Every month hundreds of our customers help their business grow by jetting off to meet new clients, or by importing or exporting goods – and we want to make that journey even easier with on board Wi-Fi, fully flat beds and award winning Clubhouses in Heathrow and Johannesburg.— Liezl Gericke, Country Manager of Virgin Atlantic in South Africa
This year, a record total of 253 930 people entered the 2017 London Marathon. Of these, the race organisers accept a total of about 50 000 runners for the start line so this is an opportunity of a lifetime for Xolani and Jane.
We’re very lucky to have this partnership with Virgin Atlantic.— Xolani Gwala
Xolani will be running to support The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children (TTBC), which provides specialised care, protection and support for abused children.
The TTBC looks after the needs of over 400 children per month and in a recent interview with Xolani, Clinical Director, Dr. Shaheda Omar explained that it costs over R13 000 to care for a single child. All funding to care for these children comes through donations.
According to Xolani, he’s excited for the 2017 Marathon, but is also very anxious.
I’ve done a couple of marathons but for this one, there’s quite a bit of pressure as so many people know that I’ll be running and will be watching! I can’t promise what time I’ll finish in but I can guarantee that I will finish this Marathon!— Xolani Gwala