Cape Town, 18th August 2015 – With just 30 days to go to one of Africa’s most prestigious road races, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon organisers are gearing up to present a spectacular event when they host the second edition of the relaunched running festival on September 20.


Having made a number of announcements with 60 days to go, the organisers are pleased to reveal further information in relation to this year’s event, as they aim to make history by becoming the first race in South Africa to achieve IAAF Gold label status.


A faster, flatter route has already been confirmed, and the course will be discussed in more detail, along with any further changes, in the build-up to the race.


“Last year there were concerns with the route, which made the race a little slower than we had hoped, so this has been one of the main focus points ahead of this year’s event,” says race ambassador Elana Meyer.


“Having earned Silver Label status at our first attempt, we know we are on the right track, but there are some areas where we know we can improve, and various tweaks to the route could make a notable difference for participants hoping to achieve personal bests.”


Meanwhile, after announcing a promising local field and the first few elite international entries at the 60-day countdown event, organisers confirmed the line-up would be further boosted by a number of global stars who would chase the men’s and women’s course records set last year by Kenyan Willy Kibor Koitile (2:10:45) and Ethiopian Meseret Mengistu Biru (2:30:57).


The men’s field will include nine IAAF Gold Label Status athletes who have run under 2:10.00. David Kemboi Kiyeng, who finished third at the 2009 Paris Marathon in 2:06:26, holds the fastest personal best in the race, while three other men have also dipped under 2:08:00.


Elite international men’s field:

  • David Kemboi Kiyeng, Kenya – 2:06:26 PB
  • Abraham Girma Bekele, Ethiopia – 2:06:48 PB
  • Peter Lotogor Kamais, Kenya – 2:07:37 PB
  • Dereje Debele Tulu, Ethiopia – 2:07:48 PB
  • Yuki Kawauchi, Japan – 2:08:14 PB
  • Willy Kibor Koitile, Kenya – 2:08:32 PB (defending champion)
  • Haile Haja Gemeda, Ethiopia – 2:08:35 PB
  • Nicholas Kipngeno Kemboi, Qatar – 2:08:51 PB
  • Andualem Belay Shiferaw, Ethiopia 2:09:59 PB


The South African rising stars consist of the following athletes:


  • Xolisa Tyali – 2:16:03 PB, Johannesburg, September 2014
  • Gladwin Mzazi – 2:17:43 PB, Fukuoka, December 2014
  • Africa Mailola – 2:17:58 PB, Cape Town, September 2014


The domestic contingent also includes some of the country’s most accomplished athletes, including 43-year-old Hendrick Ramaala (2:06:55 PB), who won the 2004 New York Marathon, and 42-year-old Shadrack Hoff (2:11:51), a former SA record holder over 5 000m on the track, with both men targeting the veterans’ title. Shaun Meiklejohn (53), who won the Comrades ultra-marathon in 1995, lines up in the masters’ division.


The elite women’s line-up also boasts a handful of promising local athletes, with a strong international field still to be revealed.


Already confirmed are:


  • Cornelia Joubert – 2:39:07 PB, Mont Choisy, 2013 (former SA marathon champion)
  • Zintle Xiniwe – 2:41:48 PB, Cape Town, September 2014 (SA marathon champion)
  • Nolene Conrad – 2:54:59 PB, Hannover, April 2014
  • Diana-Lebo Phalula – 42.2km debut, one of South Africa’s leading road runners


Ultra-distance specialist Caroline Wostmann will also attend the event, as a guest of the organisers, turning out in the Peace Run 10km race. Wostmann, who became only the fourth person to win the Comrades and Two Oceans ultras in the same year earlier this season, was named Athlete of the Year at the annual women’s GSport Awards held last week.

The remainder of the elite 10km field will be announced closer to the race.


“The elite field plays a key role in our attempt to gain Gold Label status, as we need to ensure there are at least five Gold Label athletes from five different countries,” says Meyer.


“This will not only help us reach our goal but also ensure we provide a platform for world-class times on the African continent.

“In addition, it gives local runners a rare chance to race against some of the best long-distance athletes in the world on home soil.”


Entries for the race are continuing to fill up, 30 days ahead of the weekend festival which includes a 42.2km Marathon, 10km Peace Run, Trail Runs and a Fun Run. The success of last year’s race has fuelled interest from the public, as part of the #Challengeyourself and #Challengeyourfriend campaigns.


Pre-entries for all race distances close at midnight on Saturday 5th September 2015. Late entries will be accepted for the 10km Peace Run and Fun Run at the Event Expo, but no late entries will be accepted for the Marathon or Trail Runs.


Entries can be submitted in one of two ways:


  • Electronic Entries – These can be done directly via the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon website (
  • Manual Entries – Race entry forms are available from the Western Province Athletics Office and Sportsmans Warehouse Stores, or can be downloaded from the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon website.


Finally, three charities will be supported by this year’s race:


  • Vital Foundation – An initiative of Vital Health Foods, it supports organisations in the fight against women and child abuse
  • WPA Kids Athletics Development Programme – Aims to increase participation of youth athletics in the Western Cape, as well as contributing towards development of affiliated clubs and communities
  • Endurocad – Aims to become the most proficient distance running and endurance sports academy in Africa, in partnership with the Sports Science Institute of SA and the Stellenbosch Sports Academy

Participants can find out more on the official race website about making a difference by challenging themselves to raise funds for a worthy cause of their choice.

Additionally, in the build-up to the race, organisers are unveiling various spectator zones and activities along the route.

Sanlam will provide four spectator buses at main points along the route where people will be able to follow the course for 15 minute intervals, allowing them to truly experience the marathon and witness key moments during the highly-anticipated race.

About the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon:

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is managed through a joint partnership between Western Province Athletics (WPA), ASEM Running and the City of Cape Town. Endorsed by Elana Meyer and Francois Pienaar, it will be held in September 2015. The classic 42.2km Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is the central focus of a festival of running through Africa’s Mother City, which includes a 10km Peace Run, a 4.2 km Community Fun Run, and a 22km and 11km Peace Trail run.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon route is competitive, yet beautiful, offering runners a unique experience that highlights the city’s natural splendour and top cultural attractions. The field is inclusive of the world’s elite athletes, club and non-club runners, wheelchair racers, casual joggers, social runners and walkers. Athletes and spectators can enjoy Cape Town’s unique festive atmosphere at safe, fun supporter zones along the route, and at Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon delivers a sustainable, charitable event that brings together runners and supporters to experience the exceptional spirit of Africa’s world-class city marathon. To obtain carbon neutrality in 2014, Sanlam purchased carbon credits from Climate Neutral Group, which facilitates carbon credits trade. Three organisations whose work contributes to environmental sustainability benefited from the Sanlam carbon credits purchase. They are Nova for the project Basa Magogo; Natural Balance for Wonderbag; and Ener-gy Systems for the Joburg Landfill Gas to Energy project.

Yuki Kawauchi – Japan                           Born: 05 March, 1987 in Tokyo

Personal Bests

50 km: 2:47:27 – NR (2014)                           10000 m: 29:02.33 (2010)

marathon: 2:08:14 (2013)                              5000 m: 13:58.62 (2012)

half-marathon: 1:02:18 (2012)                                   1500 m: 3:50.51 (2012)

Yuki Kawauchi is the most famous Japanese marathoner of his era and one of the most unique athletes in Japan’s long marathon history, a national celebrity among the general population who has developed an international fan base for his gritty racing and spectacular success while working a full-time job, a self-coached amateur without sponsors, pursuing his dreams and ideals with integrity completely outside the well-structured Japanese professional running team system.

Since exploding onto the scene with a gripping 2:08:37 at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon and fainting at the finish to become an international hero Kawauchi has achieved incredible feats, setting world records with sub-2:10 marathons just two weeks apart, sub-2:09 marathons six weeks apart and becoming the first person to run sub-2:10 four times in one year, as well as setting a 50 km national record and representing Japan in the marathon at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and at the 2012 World Half Marathon Championships.

Kawauchi has also emerged as an outspoken critic of the Japanese federation and professional running system, openly calling out the problems he sees and the people responsible for them, something very uncharacteristic of Japanese social etiquette. His words have spurred a major upturn in marathon performances among his countrymen, who, since Kawauchi’s 2011 breakthrough, have made Japan the only country outside Ethiopia and Kenya to produce ten men under the 2:10 barrier each year.

His career goals include representing Japan at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and 2017 London World Championships, running 100 marathons by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and traveling the world to run races throughout the rest of his life. The Sanlaam Cape Town Marathon will be Kawauchi’s South African debut.