The popular Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is going virtual this year. Organisers have included a virtual race element to the existing live events still scheduled to take place later this year.

This virtual element will allow athletes from all over the world to compete in the 5km and 10km Peace Runs as well as the 42.2km marathon wherever they are. The races starts from 6.30am at the runners’ local time on October 17 and 18 and is available through the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon app that will be launched soon.

“The Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon will offer an interactive and immersive race experience for athletes across the globe by superimposing the race route on top of streets, open spaces and gardens, complete with live tracking, distance markers, and push messages with information about key landmarks as they are passed,” said Sanlam in a statement.

“We are excited to introduce this digital offering. The app will track participants as if they are running the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon route – whether they find themselves in New York, Naples or Knysna – making this a virtual race like no other. I am certain that having a race on the horizon will give athletes a tangible goal to work towards, and the extra motivation needed to maintain their training within the parameters of the lockdown levels they may find themselves in,” said Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Chairman, Francois Pienaar.

This race also allows a much safer way for athletes to participate in the marathon amid the current coronavirus pandemic.

“In this uncertain time, we believe the way forward is to be responsible and prioritise the safety of all participants and stakeholders. This is a great example of how races can step up to the next level,” said Western Province Athletics President, Jakes Jacobs.

“Our philosophy for the race in 2020 is ‘Run for Something’,” says Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Brand at Sanlam. “Whether a runner is doing it to better their personal best, improve their sense of wellbeing during lockdown or to raise money for those in need, in a year of such turmoil we want to give participants a reason to run with meaning.”

Entries for the Virtual Race can be purchased via Webtickets. Those that have already entered the 2020 race will be able to transfer to the Virtual Race from June. Entrants will receive an official race number, and all finishers will receive a digital medal and certificate.

The live marathon is still scheduled to take place on October 18, 2020, although it is subject to change depending on the current climate.

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