The press conference held yesterday 14 June, celebrated 100 years since the start of the Cape Town Marathon.  It also marked  one hundred days to go to the weekend-long festival of running.  Surprisingly the Cape Town marathon has yet again undergone a transformation and there are a couple of golden highlights to look forward to. The spring marathon, which takes place on 23 September in Africa’s picturesque Mother City, enters its third consecutive year as the continent’s only IAAF Gold Label event. If you don’t know what this means, it basically puts the CT Marathon in a league which is classified as the best of international races.  Basically, the race is on the same level as the races presented by other first world countries.

I loved the positive atmosphere and message that even the corporate sponsor brought on the morning:  “Sanlam turns 100 this year and while we acknowledge our past, the focus will be on the future and leaving the world in a better place for the next generation. Our partnership with the IAAF Gold Label Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is perfectly aligned to our vision of making a positive difference in the world, on our continent and in people’s lives,” says Mariska Oosthuizen, Head: Sanlam Brand.

Apart from bringing top athletes from around the globe who will be participating, the event is also doing good things in the area of sustainability. CT Marathon was recently awarded bronze in the Climate Change category at the 2018 Eco-Logic Awards, as well as AIMS Green Award, presented to the marathon in November last year.  This is incredibly forward thinking and innovative as far as races go, especially with the challenges we are facing with climate change and conservation.

What makes the Cape Town Marathon very special to me, is the fact that it will also be supporting in excess of thirty charities.  The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is not only a source for desperately needed financial support, but is also a globally recognised and organised sports event that gives up-and-coming local athletes the chance to experience and excel in an internationally accredited event.

The weekend-long running festival begins on Saturday 22 September. Entries are open and applications continue to pour in. Last year over 20 000 participants from all over the world ran the various courses, with the marathon itself boasting a mass field of just under 8 000 entrants, cementing its position among the continent’s most popular road-running events.

While the marathon itself is the pinnacle of the festival, on Saturday 22 September the two Peace Trail Runs (22km and 12km) take place, as well as a 5km PEACE Run/Walk, with the 10km Peace Run on Sunday.  Join me and run the Peace Run/Walk for your cause, myself and a bunch of other well knows faces such as Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp will also be running for her cause.  I will be supporting The Sunflower Fund along with my group of friends.

Africa is my home; this is my race. It’s Cape Town, must run it! To find out more, go to www.sanlamcapetownmarathon.com