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Cape Town, 22 March 2018 – Entries are open, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Africa’s Iconic City Marathon, has made enormous strides since its relaunch in 2014. It was awarded Gold Label status by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2017, making it the first IAAF Gold Label status City Marathon on the continent; and in the same year it won the coveted Athletics International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS) Green Award.

Race director Janet Welham notes that the Gold Label status is a drawcard for elite athletes from around the world. “Going for gold is paramount in keeping the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon as the ‘must run’ event in Africa,” she says. In 2017, the event attracted more than 22 500 runners from 76 countries, including 46 elite runners. Organisers are hoping that this year’s event will draw over 28 000 entries across all events.

The international AIMS Green Award, meanwhile, shows a marathon with genuine heart. “We strive to not only put together an internationally recognised event, but also protect our environment and have a positive impact on the city of Cape Town,” says race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon achieved zero waste to landfill in 2017 and at the same time was a certified climate neutral event, and with the help of its organisers, participants and charities, intends to live up the award again this year.

The event takes place over the weekend of 22-23 September, participants are encouraged to take up the challenge and get involved in the Run4Change legacy programme, by taking the pledge to #RunGreen; #Run4Peace and #Run4aCause. Thanks to the massive effort made by runners who took the pledge last year, waste was reduced by over 25% per runner, with “chuckzones” and an onsite waste-sorting facility contributing to this impressive achievement. Almost three tons of recyclable waste (including paper, glass and various forms of plastic) were collected, while 1,4 tons of non-recyclable solids (including organic waste and general waste) were sent to the New Horizon Energy Plant for conversion into renewable energy sources such as biomethane and gas.This year Van Zyl-Meyer encourages all participants to keep up the good work, and offset their carbon footprint incurred by transport by air or car by off-setting their footprint by supporting South African charities like Wonderbag, Reliance Compost and the Basa Magogo projects.

The weekend-long running festival begins on Saturday 22 September with two Peace Trail Runs (22km and 12km) and a 5km PEACE Run/Walk. There’s a 10km Peace Run on Sunday 23 September, followed by the classic 42.2km marathon.

Africa is my home, this is my race. It’s Cape Town, must run it!

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