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Cape Town Marathon goes virtual for 2020

Kenya’s Edwin Koech winner of 2019 Cape Town Marathon.
Kenya’s Edwin Koech winner of 2019 Cape Town Marathon.
Image: Cape Town Marathon

The Cape Town Marathon is going virtual in an attempt to combat the devastation wrought by the Covid-19 crisis.

Organisers told a digital press conference on Wednesday afternoon they didn't yet know if the physical race on October 18 would be able to go ahead as planned.

An app will allow runners around the world to take part in the race on October 18‚ sharing in the regular pre-start activities including the anthem‚ and then being told where they would be in Cape Town depending on the distance they’ve covered.

Runners will be able to start at 6.30am their time — whether they’re in Hawaii or New Zealand — and will have seven hours to complete the course.

The peace runs over 5km and 10km will also be catered for on the virtual format‚ but not the trail runs.

CTM race director Renée Jordaan said it would cost South Africans R180 to enter the virtual marathon. Licensed local runners must pay R335 to enter the actual marathon.

“We are excited to introduce this digital offering‚” Cape Town Marathon chairman Francois Pienaar said‚ explaining that they anticipated that international travel would not yet be possible by October.

“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.”

Sanlam chief executive of brand‚ Sydney Mbhele‚ said the sponsorship had been renewed for another three years‚ starting with the virtual edition of the race.​