On a beautifully warm 19th of April, Cape Town hosted one of the most scenically beautiful running races in the world, the Two Oceans Marathon. The blue riband event was the 56km ultra marathon but there were a series of smaller races to appeal to all ages and varying levels of fitness and enthusiasm.
The cooler end of summer months of March and April see a spate of international sporting events. In early March was the biggest mass participation road bicycle race in the world, the Cape Argus. Later in the month, the Western Cape hosted the Cape Epic, a mountain bike race over 718km in length and including 14 850m of climbing. Last week, it was the the turn of the runners with multiple events.
On Friday the 18th April, there were:
- Various Fun Runs from the Nappy Dash for toddlers still in their nappies! to 5.6 and 8km runs for all ages.
- The International Friendship Run. This is a 5km event taking in the major scenic and touristic landmarks of Cape Town and only open to those participating in the ultra and half marathons and their international friends and families.
- The 10 and 22km Trail runs which course along the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak and through the forests above the University of Cape Town. The main features are steep ascents and descents. If you have time to look at the views, you will be inspired to push your limits.
On Saturday the 19th April, the two major events took place:
- The 21km Half Marathon. The route will be circular starting in the southern suburb of Newlands, descending into the leafy Constantia Valley and finishing on the rugby fields of the University of Cape Town. 16000 runners have signed up.
- The Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. The 11000 participants raced along, like their Cape Argus counterparts, some of the most stunning scenery in South Africa. Starting in Newlands, through Constantia and the False Bay coastline, proceeding up Hout Bay and back up over the Constantia Nek and shady forest line till the finish at UCT .
Even though the Two Oceans is an event of international prominence in the running calendar, the whole festive weekend is a jamboree of comradeship, enthusiastic public participation and a showcase for the beauty of Cape Town. Only the coldest fish will not be heartened by the cheering and warmth of the crowds lining the routes (including some of the Uyaphi team) and that is what people will take away with them, long after the race has finished.
Cape Town Ultra Marathon by Nicolas Edwards