PHOTO: Athletes at the start of the Lion of Africa Half Marathon Championships at Cape Academy for Mathematics, Constantia on February 04, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. The Cape Town Marathon has been awarded IAAF Gold Label Status‚ according to Sue Forge‚ general manager of Western Province Athletics.
Image by: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images
The Cape Town Marathon has been awarded IAAF Gold Label Status‚ putting it on par with iconic races in London‚ New York and Boston‚ and providing a spur‚ organisers hope‚ for greater international participation this year.
It is the first marathon in Africa to be awarded the status and the city will make its debut on the list with the running‚ over various distances‚ of the race on September 17 this year.
The marathon had previously been listed as a Silver Label event‚ but has taken a step up due to Cape Town’s attractiveness as a destination city and the line-up of athletes competing‚ both in terms of numbers and quality of the field.
“Gold Label status is the highest and most stringent standard awarded by the IAAF‚ the international governing body of running‚” says Sue Forge‚ general manager of Western Province Athletics.
“We are exceptionally proud that this accolade has been bestowed on the Cape Town Marathon.
“It solidifies and elevates this event’s status to one of the very best in the world‚ and is a true testament to the meticulous organisation and passion of the entire team‚ its partners and sponsors.”
Organisers are also hoping to increase the number of entries to 25 000 participants across all race distances and disciplines on offer.
The event will once again host a 10km Peace Run‚ 22km and 12km Peace Trail Runs and a Fun Run‚ in addition to the flagship 42.2km standard marathon.
“National and international growth remains a key objective.
“In this regard‚ the aim is to grow international support of the event from 8.5 percent to 10 percent‚ and attract more foreign runners from around the world after 67 countries were represented in the Mother City last year‚” race director Janet Welham says.
Former Olympic long distance runner Elana Meyer and 1995 World Cup-winning Springbok captain Francois Pienaar have again been named as ambassadors of the event‚ with the latter having challenged former Proteas cricket captain Graeme Smith and Zanele Mdodana‚ ex-South Africa netball skipper‚ to run the full 42.2km race this year‚ which both have accepted.
Marathon Organsisers are now not only intent on retaining their Gold Label status‚ but also pushing for the race to be included as a World Marathon Major‚ which would put it among the elite marathons on the planet alongside Tokyo‚ Boston‚ London‚ Berlin‚ Chicago and New York City‚ as well as IAAF World Championships Marathon and the Olympic Games Marathon.
The Cape Town Marathon was first run in 2007 and is sponsored by Sanlam.
- TMG Digital/Times Live