CAPE TOWN – Two well-known and much-loved South African Elanas have come together to add punch to Sunday’s Cape Town Marathon.
Cape Town Marathon race ambassador and former international athletics star, Elana van Zyl-Meyer, has been challenging South African celebrities to take part in the Captain’s Challenge and “Run4Change” - the event’s social upliftment programme - and she hit on the talented radio and television personality.
“As a namesake, and mother of two leading a busy life, I wanted to challenge her,” explained Van Zyl-Meyer. “She has got such a huge range of influence and I thought that if she runs it will encourage a lot of women! She has got so much energy, which I love.”
One of the most recognised media personalities in South Africa, Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, responded immediately. “I would have never have tried to train for a race if I had not been challenged,” admitted Afrika-Bredenkamp. “I am super excited. I was approached by Elana van Zyl-Meyer to Run4Change. I was up for it immediately.
Elana is one of the women in South Africa that I admire - she has sacrificed a lot for her country and her sport. She is not just a woman in sport, she’s an inspiration to all. During this time of my challenge, I lost my aunt to cancer and I realised the trauma families suffer when someone passes. I want to run for each of those families.”
The highly-influential “momtrepreneur”, as she calls herself, is a popular film star, television and radio broadcaster, and online content producer, who has added fashion and wine marketing to her seemingly endless list of credits, having launched an award-winning Shiraz produced in the Durbanville wine route region.
Afrika-Bredenkamp’s running career is a relatively recent addition to her activity palette. “I run for fun, and now for a good cause,” she explained.
“Running was a release and ‘alone time’ after my first baby. After my second baby I decided this is what I want to do more often.
“I have followed Elana’s career from the beginning. The funny thing is, we ‘met’ on email many years ago, as sometimes people would send me an email that was meant for her as we are both ‘Elana’! We officially met this year and started running together.”
The Parow High School graduate is passionate about good causes and making a difference to people’s lives. Afrika-Bredenkamp is an ambassador for Cansa and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. “I am so honoured to use something that I do for fun, to create attention for a cause,” she said.
“Creating awareness is something you don’t usually do and is wonderful. Running for a cause and having a ‘can do’ attitude makes people feel included and appreciated. I’m running for Run4Change and all the charities the race supports and trying to encourage every child to excel in life and say ‘I can do it too!’”