Cape Town marathon more than a road race

Entries for an unusual South African marathon in Cape Town, with prize money exceeding R500000, close on September 3.

Entries for an unusual South African marathon in Cape Town, with prize money exceeding R500000, close on September 3.

Jointly sponsored by Nedbank, the premier's office and the City of Cape Town, the Cape Town Marathon aims to position itself as an important yearly event on the international running calendar.

Ultimately, it hopes to take its place among the great city marathons of the world such as the London and New York marathons, that are famous not only for athletics but for the fun and enjoyment they provide for participants and spectators.

The Nedbank City of Cape Town Marathon - Memory On The Move, takes place on Sunday, September 16, and is the only South African marathon to start and end on city roads.

The event consists of three races through the city - a full 42km marathon, a 10 km and a 5km race.

Entry fees for the marathon are R65, R30 for the 10km and R5 for the 5km. Temporary licences for the marathon and 10km race cost R15 and are available for non-club members.

Fun runners do not need a licence.

All three routes link up with various sites of the Cape Town Memory Project.

Prize money for first place in the 42km race is R60 000 and the winner in the 10km race will receive R5 000.

Organised by Western Province Athletics, with Athletics South Africa and the Memory Project of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, the course is flat to encourage participation from those outside the athletics fraternity and to assist the top athletes in running fast times.

The cut-off time for the full marathon is eight hours, which means participants can complete the race at a walking pace. The cut-off time for the 10km race is two hours.

The 42km route was chosen so as to include areas of historical and cultural interest in neighbouring communities, not only to celebrate their rich diversity but to encourage them to participate - both as runners and spectators.

It starts in Adderley Street and leaves the central business district via Woodstock, Salt River, Observatory and Rondebosch.

It then follows Klipfontein Road in Athlone and skirts Pinelands on Jan Smuts Drive before returning through Albert Road to the Foreshore, the Waterfront, Sea Point and the finishing line at the City Hall balcony. - Sapa