Youth development was under the spotlight on International Youth Day, 12 August.
Cape Town, 13 August 2018 – Creating long-term opportunities through sustainability, the blossoming list of internationally recognised marathons around the country are making major contributions to multiple South African industries, and it is fitting that International Youth Day was celebrated in the build-up to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.
The annual day of recognition for youth around the world was celebrated yesterday, six weeks before the country’s most prestigious 42.2km race is held in the Mother City on Sunday, September 23.
With the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon leading the way after retaining IAAF Gold Label Status this year, domestic road races are acting as a game changer which have expanded their reach well beyond the realms of sport and provided real value in the nation’s continuous growth.
Offering world-class organisation, lucrative prize purses and widespread media coverage, a handful of local marathon contests are able to attract globally recognised elite athletes and large mass fields, boosting the economy and providing opportunities in local communities and beyond.
Along with the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, and other races across a variety of distances between 10km and 90km, well established 42.2km races held in various provinces around South Africa have established their place among the best in the continent.
Playing a central role in the growth of the sport, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon’s flagship race over the classic 42.2km distance will continue to have a significant impact on the Mother City.
The only IAAF Gold Label race in Africa, the marathon offers over R2.1 million in prize money and is expected to attract 11 000 runners including elite international stars from SA, across Africa and around the world.
In addition, the week-long Sanlam Cape Town Marathon festival hosts a 10km Peace Run/Walk, which attracts 10 000 participants, as well as a 5km Peace Run, and 12km and 22km Peace Trail Runs, making it Africa’s must-run event.
The battle for the men’s and women’s crowns at the front of the 42.2km race will feature local athletes Stephen Mokoka, Desmond Mokgobu and Nolene Conrad, who all hold IAAF Gold Label status, with the event giving up-and-coming local athletes the chance to experience and excel in an internationally accredited race.
“They will take on a strong line-up of elite international marathon specialists on home soil, and the domestic stars in the field are expected to produce performances which will inspire the local youth and drive development,” says race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer.
The men are up against the likes of Kenyan athletes Albert Korir, Kipsang Kipkemoi and Edwin Kimayo, as well as Ethiopian prospect Fikre Assefa, who have all run under 2:10:00 in their careers, while the women face an international juggernaut led by Helalia Johannes of Namibia and Askale Adula of Ethiopia, who have both dipped under 2:30:00.
Promoting sustainability, the carbon-neutral race was recently awarded bronze in the Climate Change category at the 2018 Eco-Logic Awards, and last year it received the AIMS Green Award.
Laying further platforms for the youth of South Africa to benefit from positive change, the race’s Run4Change Legacy Programme is designed to promote change in health, sustainability, peace and development, and no fewer than 50 charities from across South Africa are affiliated with the event.
International Youth Day, launched by the United Nations in 2000, raises awareness of cultural and legal issues faced by the youth around the world.
Africa is my home; this is my race. It’s Cape Town, must run it! To find out more, go to www.sanlamcapetownmarathon.com