The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Africa’s must-run iconic city marathon, has won both local and international praise for its world-class management and social benefits. Through its purposeful Run4Change legacy programme, participants, supporters and the public at large are given the opportunity to better their health, whether it’s through active recreation, physical education, exercise or good nutrition. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon weekend festival, which takes place between 14 and 17 September in the beautiful Mother City, provides a wealth of information and support through its training programmes and assistance from top experts. “The marathon is a great way to make the shift towards positive change in living a healthier life,” says Elana van Zyl-Meyer, ambassador for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and former Olympic silver medallist. The races for this year’s action-packed road-running spectacle include the 12km and 22km Sanlam Cape Town Peace Trail Runs, the Sanlam Cape Town 10km Peace Run, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 42.2km race, and the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Peace Fun Run.“No matter your fitness level, or what your goals are, there is a race to fit your needs,” says Van Zyl-Meyer. Dr Jann Killops, representing Mediclinic and Er24, says that there many benefits to incorporating exercise in your daily routine, including weight loss, strengthening of bones and muscles, and lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease. “Running stimulates key enzymes that remove fatty acids from the blood and limit the further formation of fatty acids, which in turn lowers your cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” she explains.The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon aims to encourage people to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle as part of their daily lives. “You’ll soon discover a different version of yourself as you get fitter. You’ll start feeling energised from running, and as you manage to cover longer distances, your confidence will improve,” says Van Zyl-Meyer. “Adopting and managing a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, such as running and walking, and healthy eating, including healthy cooking methods, are important lifestyle actions to prevent, reduce and better self-manage common chronic diseases” says Dr Frederick Marais from the WoW! (Western Cape on Wellness) healthy lifestyle initiative of the Western Cape Government: Health and its valued partners, including Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. “The WoW! partnership is about enabling people to live healthier lifestyles through knowledge sharing, healthy nutrition and regular physical activity - for health, wellness and fun! WoW! is encouraging all of us to Co-Create a Culture of Wellness in the Western Cape!“ said Marais.Andrea du Plessis, Vital Health Foods nutritional expert and Sanlam Cape Town Marathon runner, says that getting the most out of your diet is essential to optimise your training. He suggests whey protein and a magnesium supplementation to help maximise your recovery after a training session, while adding beetroot, rocket and seeds to your diet will help prevent muscle fatigue, as they are all rich in nitrates and B-vitamins.