The Aida real estate offices in KwaZulu-Natal are going to take their motto of excellent service a step further during the annual Comrades Marathon.
The seven offices will be fielding 100 agents and helpers to man stand number 19 at Botha's Hill during this year's up run, says organiser Jean Liversedge of Aida Amanzimtoti.
"Aida's sponsorship of the watering hole forms part of our group's 50th anniversary celebrations and we plan to bring the same dedication to excellent service that marks our dealings in the real estate industry to our ministrations to the marathon athletes," she says.
Aida is the first real estate company to assist at the Comrades and will also be the only representative of the industry during this year's run, Liversedge says.
"Team" Aida will be at their posts at 04h00 and it is estimated that the first runners will arrive at the watering hole three and a half hours later. The last runners will have to pass the point at around 11h00 to reach Pietermaritzburg by the cut-off time of 17h30.
Although the stand is relatively close to the starting point, Team Aida will also have first aiders on hand to attend to runners' muscle cramps and spasms and will be in radio contact with medical teams, should their assistance be needed. Athletes still on their feet can expect liquid refreshments and lots of cheering and encouragement, Liversedge says.
"Preparing for the day was a marathon in itself," she says. "It was an eye-opener to realise how much organisation goes into an event like this. The logistics just for our small stand were daunting – it took almost military precision to plan the delivery of refreshments for athletes, the stand where our red and white banners will proudly fly, the team uniforms and transport and, of course, enough food to sustain the agents and helpers during the day.
"And once the last stragglers pass our point, we will have to break down the stand and clear the road of all discarded bottles and other debris. It is likely to be a long day for our helpers but everyone is full of enthusiasm and we see the occasion not only as a small contribution to the community that we serve, but also as a great team-building exercise."
For more information contact Jean Liversedge 031 903 8600
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