As restrictions on mass sporting events are being relaxed, running made its way back to the streets of Cape Town after a long layoff due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The cold and run did little to dampen the spirits of participants and spectators alike, when the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon made its return after nearly two years on Sunday.
Stephen Mokoka made it two wins from two starts making short work of a stellar international field that had eight sub 2:10 men in the field. In the women’s race, marathon debutant, Lydia Simiyu of Kenya stunned a quality field to win in a new course record of 2:25.
“It was fantastic to stage the first major running event in South Africa this year,” said Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race director, Renee Jordaan.
“It was great to see some exciting racing from our lead runners, and we congratulate every single participant who joined us.
“The running community really embraced the event, and they were particularly excited about the staggered start and mat-to-mat timing this year.
“We are also pleased that we had no serious medical incidents, and would once again like to thank the City of Cape Town for all their support and road closures, thereby helping us stage another safe event.”
Mariska Oosthuizen, head of brand for Sanlam, the marathon’s title sponsor, added: “Huge congratulations to the runners and spectators this year. It has truly been an astounding success and we thank our partners – the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race organisers – for their tireless energy and vision in making it so.
“Right at the start, we set a shared goal to create a race that’d compete with the world’s best. We pursued it relentlessly, with fortitude and determination. That’s what ‘living with confidence’ means.
“And now, this event is on the verge of being the seventh Marathon Major in the world. Thank you to everyone who took part this year. It was one of the first mass participation events in the country since Covid-19, and we are so proud of how seamlessly and safely it was executed.”