from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – THE traditional race may have been postponed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
However, the virtual version of the Cape Town Virtual Marathon is anticipated to feature the best field seen in any South African marathon.
This is a dream come true for the event organisers and comes after consultation with and approval of Athletics South Africa (ASA).
The men’s field for the October 18 event includes legends Stephen Mokoka, Elroy Gelant, Bongmusa Mthembu and Edward Mothibi.
The Phalula twins Lebo and Lebogang, Ann Ashworth, Charne Bosman, Jenna Challenor, Cornelia Joubert, Tanith Maxwell and Sanelisiwe Mbanjwa will be among the star-studded women’s field.
Organisers of the Sanlam-sponsored race are also thrilled to welcome South Africa’s highest-ranked trailrunner, Meg Mackenzie, who will make her running debut.
With the recent cancellation of the half marathon world champs, scheduled to take place in Poland in October, Joel Mmone and Collen Mulaudzi have also been included as wildcard entries.
“Never before has a South African elite field been so strong, and for the first time ever the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will see Olympians competing against the best ultra-marathon, half marathon and cross country runners,” Elana Meyer, the race ambassador, said.
The Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon will be staged under the theme, “Run for Something.”
Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive: Brand at Sanlam, said as the elite runners would set their individual goal and run their personal best on race day, they were encouraged to globally unite and run to make a difference.
“We want to create positive change by urging each entrant to make this race a meaningful moment in their life,” Mbhele said.
Sanlam has been the headline sponsor of the marathon for seven years.
Nonetheless, the COVID-19 has overshadowed this longevity, forcing the marathon to be run virtually in different parts of the world.
“However, together, we can make it count. We hope to make a bigger difference than ever before,” Mbhele said.
The virtual race will feature a marathon, half marathon as well as 5km and 10km peace runs.
– CAJ News