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.
Africa is my home, this is my race. It’s Cape Town, must run it!
• Must explore it
• Must experience it
• Must discover it
• Must feel it
Entries for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon are open. To find out more, go to www.sanlamcapetownmarathon.com