Sanlam Marathon Race Review & Tips

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Sanlam Marathon has earned itself a sterling reputation since its return in 2014. Each year it continues to add value and make significant contributions towards various sectors in South Africa’s economy. This year is no different; Sanlam Cape Town Marathon promises even greater contributions.

This year, runners will be able to keep an eye on their progress while on the course using an innovative virtual running app, and also compete against runners from around the globe running at different times zones.

It’s a World-Class Event

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is Africa’s sole Gold Label marathon and an Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate race, set to become an Abbott World Marathon Major by 2025. Beginning this year, its multiyear evaluation process to become one of the eight Major Marathons such as Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London Marathon (VMLM), BMW Berlin Marathon and Bank of America Chicago Marathon has begun.

As Cape Town returns to normal following Pandemic IgA, marathon organisers hope that more participants than ever before will participate. They are working tirelessly towards producing an event worthy of Cape Town’s unique suburbs, culture, and heritage that brings in thousands of local runners as well as international ones, creating economic benefits across multiple sectors and communities.

Running enthusiasts will experience all that Cape Town and Western Cape have to offer while participating in an elite marathon held under Table Mountain. Runners will pass iconic landmarks along a fast, scenic course before reaching Cape Town Stadium at its conclusion. With races for every kind of runner – elite athletes, wheelchair racers, first-time marathon runners or social runners alike – participants of this race can all find something they enjoy here.

This event serves as an ideal platform for raising awareness of running and athletics across society, while contributing to local economies by drawing tourists and athletes to Cape Town, which will in turn boost local businesses. Alongside the main marathon event, other weekend programmes include 46km Sanlam Cape Town Trail Marathon as well as 10km and 5km Sanlam Cape Town Peace Runs.

The main event features some of the world’s top runners. Kenyan Judith Cherone, winner of this year’s Xiamen Marathon in China, will be among those competing. South Africans Judith de Beer and Maritza Strauss may also feature prominently.

It’s Climate Neutral

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon stands out as one of the premier city marathons worldwide and takes pride in being climate neutral. By cutting their environmental impact and adopting sustainable practices that benefit both the environment and local communities, this event has taken an unparalleled leap in terms of sustainability.

First step to meeting this goal was identifying all emissions associated with an event. Working with a carbon and sustainability consultancy, major sources were assessed such as traveler impacts to races as well as energy usage and paper use during them. For aspects that couldn’t be reduced further, carbon offsets were purchased through projects in South Africa that support sustainable development – these credits help reduce their overall footprint while contributing towards local sustainable development efforts.

Stephen Mokoka of South Africa returned as champion and achieved victory in 2 hours 9 minutes and 58 seconds, defeating Ethiopian Derseh Kindie Kassie and Kenya’s Dagnachew Adere Choge to secure men’s victory while breaking course records by three seconds.

Different Race Distances

Kenyan Celestine Chepchirchir claimed victory in 2 hours 26 minutes 44 seconds to claim her title; she was followed closely by Zimbabweans Eunice Ngawangi and Alice Mutuku from Zimbabwe.

While elite runners compete, runners of all ages and abilities take part in 5km, 10km Peace Runs and marathon. The main event will take place on Sunday 16 October.

Virtual Marathon App provides runners the chance to experience all aspects of race day from any location around the globe, while pitting themselves against virtual counterparts worldwide. Cutting-edge tracking features and prerecorded audio/video allow runners to feel like they are part of starting line action, see real-time trackers for themselves, hear cheering crowds cheering back at them at each turning, as well as hear Cape Minstrels singing through Cape Town streets while making their journey down Mother City streets.

2022 event participants will benefit from its commitment to sustainability with medals made from recycled metal, as well as Coca-Cola and Powerade being served in 100% biodegradable cups and refill stations available to support runners using their own hydration packs or bottles for water hydration purposes.

It’s a Global City Race

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon stands out as an event with unparalleled global reach in Africa. Since relaunching last year, it has quickly grown into a top race, recently receiving World Athletics Gold Label status; only marathon in Africa to hold this prestigious distinction! In addition, this global-reaching marathon attracts elite athletes from around the globe while pioneering world-first initiatives – like providing virtual running experiences.

As part of their training for marathon races around the globe, runners from around the globe have experienced all aspects of running through smartphones and other devices using Virtual Marathon App technology. By employing advanced tracking features, pre-recorded audio/video content and crowd sounds reminiscent of full marathon experience such as waves crashing against shore and promenade crowds – runners can fully experience what makes up full marathon experience from their homes or workplaces worldwide.

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is an expansive event with several distance options that spans from marathon, 10K and fiveK races to two trail runs. Established as its current form in 2007, this city marathon is organized jointly by Western Province Athletics, ASEM Running and City of Cape Town under Western Province Athletics’ guidance, ASEM Running’s support, as well as headline sponsor Sanlam.


Stephen Mokoka from South Africa won the men’s marathon with an unofficial time of 2 hours 8 minutes and 31 seconds, setting a personal best (PB) mark by over one minute from last year. Ethiopian Meseret Dinke Meleka took home first prize for women at 2 hours 24 minutes two seconds – setting another personal best.

At the upcoming 2023 edition, this race will be assessed for inclusion into the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM), alongside six of the world’s biggest marathons. Runners who complete all six majors may become eligible to receive a “Six Star Medal.”

Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, noted with pride the extraordinary success of Cape Town’s candidacy as one of the world’s most welcoming cities. This race offers participants an unforgettable journey across Cape Town’s stunning cityscape, passing Atlantic Ocean beaches, Table Mountain summits and Robben Island as stunning landmarks along their path of exploration.

It’s an Epic Journey

the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon offers an unforgettable experience to runners of all abilities – be they novice or experienced racers. Not only can runners visit one of the world’s most breathtaking cities while uniting thousands of runners around the globe in their common goal: finishing a marathon! Beginning at V&A Waterfront and winding its way through beautiful streets in city center.

Cape Town Marathon takes in all of Cape Town’s stunning natural beauty: mountains and sea; as well as many of its most notable landmarks and attractions. Designed to cater to both elite athletes seeking fast times as well as first-timers taking on their inaugural marathon experience, this course presents runners of all types a fantastic challenge!

Running a marathon is more than just about beating your best time; it’s an epic journey that demands dedication, commitment and hard work to bring to fruition your dream of competing in it. We celebrate these remarkable accomplishments of our runners while creating an incredible race experience for all participants involved!

Closing Thoughts

Last year’s race left an impactful legacy across various sectors of Cape Town’s economy with over R22 million in advertising value during its build-up and 12 000 participants taking part. This year’s edition aims to further stimulate more sectors and contribute towards long-term economic prosperity of Cape Town.

To achieve its objective, the race relies on several key strategic partners such as Western Province Athletics and ASEM Running as well as marathon enthusiasts from throughout South Africa. Of particular note is Virgin Active as key sponsor, offering runners from all across South Africa access to unlimited training activations opportunities such as weekly track sessions and Saturday long runs; additionally there will be support groups available throughout the lead up to race day.

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is in an exciting time as we seek to become Africa’s inaugural Major Marathon candidate. Your support is necessary so we can make this happen and keep growing together as an event community.

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