Yesterday, it was announced that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has been granted Gold Label Status by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). With fewer than 35 marathons worldwide holding this stature and as the first race on the African continent to accomplish it, it represents a great privilege for both Cape Town and South Africa.
To be given Gold Label Status, several aspects of the marathon were considered, including, but not limited to, its magnetism and athlete listing. Logistical matters such as water pitstops, medical facilities and road closures were also taken into account. Sanlam’s next goal is to have the race be recognised as one of the globe’s leading marathons, in line with the likes of London, New York, Boston, Chicago and Tokyo.
Another feather in Sanlam’s cap is the verification of the marathon as ‘Climate Neutral’, indicating its minimal impact on the earth. It’s the only activity that the IAAF has regarded as such. The race is also a catalyst for positive transformation in the community, embodied by its Run4Change initiative that strives to aid and increase awareness of health, social and environmental dilemmas.
To contribute towards transformation, ex-captains of South African sports teams will participate in the Captains Challenge. Former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar will challenge Graeme Smith, a prior skipper for the Proteas, in the 42.2 km stretch with Zanele Mdoda, a previous captain for the SA netball squad, joining them.
The Cape Town Marathon will form part of a four-day gala beginning with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Conference on Thursday 14 September. Two Peace Trail Runs, 22 km and 12 km respectively, and a 4.2 km Fun Run/Walk, will take place on Saturday 16 September, while the 10 km Peace Run and the copybook 42.2 km Olympian Run, will take place on Sunday 17 September.
Photography Courtesy images