from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – EXCITEMENT around the Cape Town Marathon is building as the ten-day countdown to the race begins.
The Sanlam-sponsored annual race, which takes a virtual format this year because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, is set for October 18.
“When we say that we’re taking Cape Town to the world, we mean it,” Barry van Blerk, Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon General Manager, said.
“From the start ceremony and the city’s iconic landmarks, to the cheers and vibe… it’s all neatly packaged in what is undoubtedly the most advanced virtual event app on the running market right now.”
Participants will feature in the marathon, half marathon and 10km / 5km peace runs run along three pre-designed marathon routes in Cape Town, Potchefstroom and Pretoria.
The star-studded elite invitational athletes include Ann Ashworth, Charne Bosman, Stephen Mokoka and Bongmusa Mthembu.
Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, expressed satisfaction at the growth of the marathon over the years.
This would be Sanlam’s seventh year as headline sponsor.
“Despite what the world is going through, the marathon is going ahead and is still able to make a positive impact on the lives of so many – both the runners and the organisations that benefit from the proceeds of the race,” Mbhele said.
Sanlam will through the race continue its ongoing support to its biggest beneficiary, the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).
The Cape Town race is lauded as Africa’s only World Athletics Gold Label Marathon.
In 2019, Kenya’s Edwin Koech won men’s marathon, with a time of 2 hours 9 minutes 20 seconds.
Fellow Kenyan, Celestine Chepchirchir, won the women’s marathon, clocking 2:26.44.
Over 13 500 runners participated.
Despite the absence of thousands of runners along the traditional Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and Peace Run routes next weekend, the City of Cape Town has offered its support.
– CAJ News