The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon announced a strong field for the race that has been nominated for the Abbott World Marathon Majors. South Africans, Stephen Mokoka and Gerda Steyn, were named as some of the elite runners alongside Kenyan duo, Daniel Muteti and Lucy Karimi.
The 42 kilometre race is designed to be a mountainous run with two thousand meters of ascend. Other top runners include 2020 champions, Edward Mothibi and Annie Bothma.
The Cape Town Marathon became the first marathon on the continent to be nominated as a candidate to become a World Marathon Major. It will go through a vetting process for the next couple of years, with the admission likely to happen in 2025. The marathon will be required to meet certain criteria for three years to be successful. Among the top requirements is to ensure that it lures a competitive line-up that includes a strong international field.
Top runners were named including Mokoka who recently had a brave run at the Tokyo Olympic Games. He is an elite runner and holds the course record which he hopes to break and clock a sub two hour eight minutes time.
“When you are lining up my goal is always to finish first the second thing is will my body be able to carry me throughout the race for a certain goal I have set for myself hoping to have a good day. I have one thing that I say, if it’s my day, it’s my day,” says Mokoka.
Another South African that was named in the top ten elite runners, is SA record holder, Steyn. It will be her first marathon on home soil. Steyn was 15th at the Olympic Games.
“I believe that it’s going to be a strong field and that is a good motivator to go even faster and push yourself to the limits because the marathons are getting faster globally, so I’m excited to see what I can do as well,” says Steyn.
There will be stiff competition with runners from East Africa. Most notably Muteti from Kenya – an experienced half marathon runner who was first signed as a pacemaker in 2019 when he finished second, five seconds off the pace. His compatriot, Lucy Karimi, finished third at the Geneva marathon earlier in the year with a time of two hours 24 minutes and 24 seconds. She has won eight of her 16 marathons.
“I have the experience in marathons and I know the way I prepare for the Cape Town marathon the race will be good and I have no pressure,” says Lucy Karimi.
The Cape Town Marathon organisers are hoping that the race will be a success as in previous years. It will be among the sporting events that will pave the way for the return to some sort of normality. Ten thousand runners will take part and will start in batches of 300.