Cape Town - A festival of running kicks off on Friday, September 19 at the V&A Waterfront, as one of Africa’s first iconic city marathons gains momentum in the countdown to what could become one of the continent’s first marathons accredited by the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF).
The main attraction, which takes place on the Sunday, is a classic, Olympic 42.2km marathon and a 10km Peace Run. Other, shorter events take place on the Saturday including a 4.2km Peace Fun Run, a 22km and 11km Peace Trail run, as well as a 5 x 4.2km Peace Corporate, School and University Relay.
“With the full support of the City, our routes have been confirmed, taking into account aspects such as road closures, positioning of refreshment stations and supporter zone accessibility, but also remaining true to our vision of becoming a world-class African sports event that models itself on scenic beauty and the heritage of the City,” says event ambassador Elana Meyer, South Africa’s Olympic medallist and repeat record holder in long-distance running.
The two main events are the 42.2km marathon and the 10km Peace Run.
The marathon starts in Somerset Road at 07:30 on Sunday, September 21, ending with a cut-off time of 15:30 at Green Point A Track. Starting off in the city, the route meanders out towards Woodstock, Observatory, Rondebosch and Newlands, taking in scenic attractions like the pristine Liesbeek River, Rondebosch Common, Newlands Cricket Grounds, Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town before turning back towards the city.
Under the majestic shadow of Table Mountain, the route moves through District Six, re-entering the heart of the CBD, passing iconic landmarks including the Castle of Good Hope, City Hall, Houses of Parliament, Company Gardens, St Georges Cathedral, Mandela Rhodes building, Huguenot Chambers and the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk.
The marathon finishes outside the Cape Town Stadium, after following a course that moves through Sea Point, passing landmarks such as the Sea Point Swimming Pools and the Green Point Lighthouse.
For the 10km Peace run, the route is a fast and flat one, starting at the Green Point Stadium at 07:00 and has a cut-off time of two hours, finishing at the Green Point A Track.
The other Peace races take place on Saturday, September 20, and start at various places and times, as follows:
· The two Peace Trail Runs will start just outside the Green Point A Track and finish inside the Green Point A track. The Trail Runs will start at 07:30 and 08:00 respectively, for the 22km and 11km events.
· The 5 x 4.2km Peace Corporate, School and University Relay kicks off at the Green Point A Track, at 9h00.
· The 4.2km Peace Fun Run starts just outside the Green Point A Track, at 11h00.
Planned and organised under the regulation of the Western Province Athletics (WPA), Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is open to all registered and non-registered runners aged 20 years and older. The 10km event is open to all registered and non-registered runners aged 15 years and older.
“Following standard protocol, runners are required to register online by visiting www.capetownmarathon.com,” Meyer says. “They need to collect their registration kits in person from the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon EXPO at The Lookout (in the V&A Waterfront) on Friday, September 19 between 10:00 and 19:00 or on Saturday, September 20 between 09:00 and 17:00.”
Registration kits can also be collected from the registration expo, which will be held at The Lookout, a glass-sided permanent marquee situated on the Granger Bay parking area behind the V&A Waterfront. The EXPO will feature an event shop, an exhibition, a Rockets massage and strapping zone, as well as a unique pop-up market with live entertainment and food stalls.
Meyer recommends that once the participants have registered online, they should take a closer look at the rules governing the events, including license wearing, choice of clothing, eligibility for prizes, proof of age, adherence to marshaling, or qualifier requisites for other marathons. More information can be found online by visiting www.capetownmarathon.com/information/racerules.
sponsor, Sanlam, believes that this year’s event is a powerful opportunity to
bring a broad cross-section of people together and unite them in one cause, for
the betterment of others.
“A key characteristic of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is its charity partner lineup and the opportunity it offers both the running community and supporters alike, to really make a tangible difference in the lives of others. This resonates with us because of our well established tradition of corporate social responsibility and our belief in doing good,” says Yegs Ramiah, Chief Executive: Sanlam Brand.
This year’s official charity partners include Endurocad; Peace and Sport L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport and Western Province Athletics’ Kids Athletics Development Programme. Other charity partners that will be supported by the event include The Children’s Hospital Trust, The Sunflower Fund, Cancer Association of South Africa, Pink Drive, Anna Foundation, Eduvate, MAD Charity, JAG Foundation, WWF, Community Chest and Rotary Newlands.
“Even though the event appeals to sport enthusiasts, it benefits many others outside sport, through our broad selection of charities,” says Ramiah. “Our desire is for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon to become the country’s largest fundraising sports event.”
In closing, fellow Marathon ambassador and Rugby World Cup 1995 winning captain Francois Pienaar says “Running a major city marathon was a serious goal for me, an experience that's difficult to put into words. Every year many South African runners travel abroad to run a major city marathon and now the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon gives local and international runners an opportunity to test themselves in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Our aim is to be the leading city marathon in Africa over the next 2-3 years and a ‘must-run’ marathon for runners all over the world.”