Already having made a significant difference in the lives of elite and amateur runners alike, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will utilise its new top-flight status to continue opening doors for participants of the annual 42.2km race when it is held on 17 September 2017.
Establishing its place among the continent’s most iconic races, as the only event in Africa to receive IAAF Gold Label recognition, the annual road running festival in the Mother City has made a real impact on runners across the continent since it was relaunched in 2014.
Over the last few years, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has assisted several African and local athletes by providing a springboard for their international careers. Various runners have received lucrative offers to participate at prestigious international races, based on their performances at the local event:
- After winning the 2014 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Ethiopian athlete Meseret Mengistu went on to win the Paris Marathon the following year.
- Local Western Province runner, Lungile Gongqa’s breakthrough performance occured at the 2015 edition of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, where he finished second behind winner Kenyan Shadrack Kemboi in a time of 2:11:59. This time allowed him to qualify to go to the Rio Olympics in 2016 and more recently he won the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon.
- Asefa Negewo of Ethiopia, who won last year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in a Gold Label time of 2:08:41 (the fastest marathon ever run on a standard course on SA soil) went on to finish seventh at the London Marathon, a World Marathon Majors contest, in the English capital at the end of April.
- Motlokoa Nkhabutlane of Lesotho, who was fourth at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon last year, finished ninth at the recent Paris Marathon in a gold label time.
Having received IAAF Gold Label accreditation this year, after being promoted from Silver Label status, the race will offer an even bigger boost to the elite field which provides local athletes the chance to compete at an elite international marathon on home soil.
Sanlam Cape Town Marathon ambassador Elana Meyer, a former road running world record holder, says: “One of the key focal points when this race was relaunched was to offer a development platform for our elite runners in SA and across Africa, and recent results have proved that we are on the right track. It really has been great to see the race opening doors for runners who have gone on to achieve tremendous success at other races overseas.”
As a mass race hosting thousands of participants, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will also continue to offer amateur runners the opportunity to experience an international major city marathon.
Last month, 21-year-old local runner Aaron Adams enjoyed the trip of a lifetime after he won two tickets to the Paris Marathon in France, by participating in the 2016 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.
Looking back on his trip, where he was one of nearly 60 000 participants in the Paris Marathon, Adams says: “The trip has no doubt changed my life as a runner but as well as an individual. It has allowed me the opportunity to run an international city marathon which many would only dream of doing. This shows me that not only running but also sport in general can make a positive impact on one’s life. It makes me want to give back to the runners in and around my community.”
In partnership with Sanlam and Asics, two tickets to the Barcelona Marathon will be up for grabs at the 2017 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, as this exciting initiative continues to make runners’ dreams a reality.
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, one of Africa’s must-run road races, will again be used to leverage change, with stakeholders utilising the event to promote environmental awareness and peace through sport, while raising money for various official charities.
Taking place between 14-17 September, the four-day festival includes a 42.2km marathon a 10km Peace Run, two trail races and a fun run, as well as an Expo.
Africa is my home, this is my race. It’s Cape Town, must run it!
Entries for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon are open.
To find out more, go to www.sanlamcapetownmarathon.com