Photo: Supplied

Comrades: Elite athletes and SADAG team up to run for mental health

Nedbank Running Club elite runners will run for mental health in the 95th edition of the world-famous Comrades Marathon.


Photo: Supplied

Nedbank Running Club elite runners will descend on Pietermaritzburg to participate in the 95th edition of the world-famous Comrades Marathon and run in solidarity in the fight for mental health.

Nedbank Runified has combined virtual and physical running challenges to rally around a very real issue in the country – mental health. This running challenge, in partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), aims to demonstrate that running (particularly in groups) can reduce stress, depression and anxiety.

Running for mental health at the Comrades

Comrades Marathon
This year’s Comrades Marathon, despite not having the defending women’s title holder on the start line, has a stacked field of runners. Photo: BackpagePix

Earlier in 2022, the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50 km Ultramarathon, was not only an opportunity for Nedbank to help maintain running in South Africa but the start of the movement for better mental health with running as a catalyst.

Participating elite runners at Comrades will receive a green ribbon – the international symbol for mental health awareness – to represent the goal of Runified. Not only will there be a strong presence of elite international and national athletes, but athletes will unify through running and show their support for mental health.

‘Nedbank has been involved in running for decades, and we are proud to use Runified as a vehicle to create a lasting impact in the communities we serve. We have an incredible stable of contenders who are members of the Nedbank Running Club, and we look forward to them utilising Comrades as an opportunity to run in solidarity to help drive the movement for better mental health,” says Tobie Badenhorst, Head for Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank.

“One in three South Africans currently have or will at some point in their lifetime have an issue with mental and while the impacts of Covid-19 have affected the mental health of many South Africans, it is important to raise awareness and get the message out for everyone to look after their mental health every day and find sustainable and healthy ways to manage it. It is so important to build a support structure while raising awareness in our communities,” says Cassey Chambers, Operations Director at SADAG

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Between August – September 2022, Nedbank Runified group runs, led by athletes, mental health advocates and running enthusiasts like Amy Hopkins; Caley Jack; Cuan Walker; Graeme Richards; Masibulele Mkhundlu; Nicola Schreuder; Nombulelo Mgabadeli; Tumi Sole and Zinhle Masango, have kicked-off Runified with daily runs across Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

‘It remains imperative for us as money experts who do good to create platforms that offer support to our communities. Following the success and awareness created at Breaking Barriers, Nedbank donated R10 000 to SADAG. To further show our commitment to raising awareness and further driving support, Nedbank donated R80 000 to SADAG at the official launch of Runified in July,’ adds Badenhorst.

To find out how you can join Nedbank Runified in your city, join the Nedbank Running Club on Strava or search #NedbankRunified on social media. The Nedbank Running Club is more than a club and welcomes runners of all fitness levels to unify through running. It is time to Runify around mental health, and take the first step towards a happier, healthier South Africa.

If you or your loved ones are battling with mental health challenges, there is hope. Visit or call 0800 567 567 in the event of an emergency.