Preparations are well on track for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 23 September, where some world-class athletes are lined up for this year’s exhilarating festival of running.
The classic 42.2-kilometre marathon will be spearheaded by some of the continent’s best male and female athletes, like South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka whose personal best of 2hr 07min 40sec in the 2015 Shanghai Marathon in China is quickest, Albert Korir from Kenya with a personal best of 2:08:17 in the Japan Lake Biwa Marathon earlier this year and female runners Helalia Johannes and South Africas’s Lebo Phalula, to name a few.
The weekend-long festival, which was awarded IAAF Gold Label status, does not only host elite athletes, but brings together runners, social joggers and surrounding communities to enjoy a spring weekend of running through Africa’s Mother City.
It offers a competitive yet beautiful route, providing runners with a unique experience that highlights the city’s natural splendour and top cultural attractions.
‘We believe in the potential of Africa and its people. With the top marathon runners in the world all residing on this continent, it makes sense to give our athletes the opportunity to compete at an IAAF Gold Label marathon on home soil,’ commented Thabied Majal, Sanlam emerging markets group executive: corporate affairs and services.
Last year, over 20,000 participants from all over the world ran the various courses with 10,000 entrants for the marathon itself, increasing its international athlete support yearly.
In addition, the marathon aims to facilitate and leverage change at a national level through its Run4Change Legacy Programme which focuses on health and wellness, promoting sports and peace but most importantly, developing and empowering South African athletes.
‘We attract elite athlete support, so ordinary runners are inspired to achieve more than just taking part for sheer pleasure. There’s a growing interest in running for a cause. Using the marathon, it’s an opportunity to shine light on participants that genuinely care,’ race ambassador and Olympic silver medallist Elana Meyer commented.
With the objective to raise funds and awareness, some runners will be dressed as their favourite superhero. Charity involvement in the event promises top-flight competition and entertainment with no less than 50 charities from across the country affiliated this year.
Athletes and spectators can enjoy Cape Town’s unique festive atmosphere at safe, fun supporter zones along the route, and at the finish line in Green Point.
Photo: Back row (left to right) Francois Pienaar, Sanlam Cape Town Marathon ambassador; Thabied Majal, Sanlam emerging markets (SEM) group executive: corporate affairs and services; front: Nolene Conrad, South African Gold Label Status athlete.