Winner Stephen Mokoka receives the trophy from race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer after the 2018 Cape Town Marathon. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – This year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be under close scrutiny by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), as the annual event aims to better its already-strong participant and spectator appeal by applying for the federation’s new Platinum Label status. 

The marathon, which takes place on Sunday 15 September, is currently the only IAAF Gold Label-status marathon in Africa.

“When you run in an IAAF Road Race Label event, you get to experience an event run on truly world-class best-practice principles,” says Olympian long-distance runner and race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer.

“Not only does an IAAF Road Race Label event offer an excellent runner, spectator and media experience, it also yields great benefits for the development of the sport and helps fight the scourge of doping in sport.”

The new IAAF Platinum Label will be granted from 2020 to races meeting a full set of new requirements and regulations.

These range from the inclusion of a quota of international elite athletes, validation of the course, and photo-finish devices, through well-staffed refreshment stations and sound electronic-timing data-processing and results reporting, to sufficient medical services and local and international television-broadcast support.

With international support for the South African springtime festival of running quickly ramping up, organisers of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will this year need to increase marathon entries and further extend its international reach to 12.5% from the 82 countries represented last year.

Nadia Fetta, CEO of Sanlam Pan-Africa: General Insurance, says: “The best marathon runners of the world are from Africa and always had to travel the world to compete against the best.

“Having a world-class marathon on African soil allows runners from across the world to visit our continent and ultimately have a positive impact on our economy and the people of Africa.

“As Africa’s biggest insurer, Sanlam believes in the potential of this continent. It’s this belief that drives our pan-African expansion and decision to remain the proud naming-rights sponsor of Africa’s major marathon.”

This year’s weekend-long running event begins on Saturday 14 September with two Peace Trail Runs (22km and 12km) and a 5km Peace Run, followed by Sunday’s 42.2km marathon and a 10km Peace Run.

“Our aim has always been to become a member of the newly formed IAAF Platinum Label-status marathons and there’s little reason to believe that an African city marathon can’t be added to this family of world-class city marathons.

“Applying for IAAF Platinum Label classification brings us one step closer to that dream,” said Meyer.

African News Agency (ANA)