Second from left, Stephen Mokoka, Nolene Conrad, Michael Mazibuko and Desmond Mokgobu during the Peace torch event in front of the Nelson Mandela statue at the City Hall on Thursday. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA

Cape Town - Since its relaunch in 2014, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has grown in stature year by year. Awarded Gold Label Status in 2017 – Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label Marathon – the race has seen entries increase each year to hit just over 22 800 runners at this year’s event. 

It has also seen some of the fastest times recorded in South Africa, with 2018 proving no exception.

While many may look to the front end of the race, the heartbeat of the marathon is its Run4Change Legacy Programme that aims to use this iconic weekend of racing to leverage change.

More than 60 charities participated this year in the fundraising arm, using the event as a platform to raise funds and working with organisers to exceed last year’s target of R 1.3 million. Runners embraced the objectives of the race to make a difference and chose to not only run through the streets of the Mother City, but also to make their run a meaningful one by raising funds for causes close to their hearts.

"This has exceeded our wildest expectations,” said race director, Janet Welham. "In 2017 we raised R1.3 million and are confident we have exceded last year’s amount this year. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, as Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label Marathon, attracts some of the world’s best athletes, and we are immensely proud of that. But it is not only about those who set records. It is about all 22,800+ runners who took part in this year’s event, many of whom made use of this event to help and uplift society in so many areas.  To have raised so much, is something of which we are enormously grateful for and thrilled that through this race we can make a difference in people’s lives."

Video: Video360/African News Agency (ANA)

The Run4Change Legacy Programme aims to stimulate meaningful change to society in both the regional communities as well as on a national scale by focusing on five key areas, namely charity, health, sustainability, peace and development. The charity element channels funds into areas that are calling for greater awareness of assistance at grass roots level with a big emphasis on children. But community upliftment, the environment, health, wildlife and women are also major benefactors.

More than R700 000 was raised through the GivenGain platform with more than 100 fundraisers from more than 15 countries taking part. GivenGain marketing manager, Marius Maré, said online fundraising is still a fairly new concept in South Africa compared to the rest of the world, but growing fast. 

“If 158 people can raise R722,000, just imagine what would happen if 1,000 out of 20,000 runners fundraised next year.”

@TheCapeArgus

[email protected]

Cape Argus