CAPE TOWN – No fewer than 17 IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Gold Label elite runners will be part in this year's Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on Sunday, September 15.
It is a field dominated by Ethiopians and Kenyans while South Africa’s elite contingent is also strong with several athletes in with a chance of finishing high up the field.
“Unquestionably, we’re striving for excellence in this year’s event,” says Elana van Zyl-Meyer, ambassador and Olympian of the Cape Town Marathon.
“There are over 30 Gold Label-status marathons around the world, and international demand for elite athletes to take part in these has never been higher but it’s also an indication of how well known and popular the marathon has become in international circles.
“Our elite ladies’ field is particularly strong as far as both Gold Label and South African athletes are concerned – we’re looking at personal bests of 2:24 and 2:26 and two-time Olympians added to the mix, so I think we’re in for some pleasant surprises.”
Kenya’s Celestine Chepchirchir, with a personal best of 2:24:48, will headline the ladies’ category, while in the men’s line-up, another Kenyan Kipkemoi Kipsang, who came fourth in last year’s event, will be back.
Best of men's field:
Peter Kimeli Some (Kenya) 2:05:38
Tariku Kinfu (Ethiopia) 2:07:48
Edwin Kibet Koech (Kenya) 2:08:17
Kipkemoi Kipsang (Kenya) 2:08:26
Paul Maina (Kenya) 2:08:49
Samuel Theuri Mwaniki (Kenya) 2:08:56
Abdi Fufa (Ethiopia) 2:09:24
Motlokoa Mkhabutlane (Lesotho)2:09:47.
The South African men’s elites:
Elroy Gelant 2:12:49, Lusapho April 2:08:32, Melikhaya Frans 2:15:40.
The Gold Label ladies’ elite field:
Celestine Chepchirchir (Kenya) 2:24:48
Abeda-Tekulu Gebremeskel (Ethiopia) 2:24:53
Janet Jelagat Rono (Kenya) 2:26:03
Mercy Jerotich Kibarus (Kenya) 2:26:52
Milliam Ebongon (Kenya) 2:27:16
Urge Diro Sokoka (Ethiopia) 2:28:10
Nurit Shimels (Ethiopia) 2:28:41
Motu Megersa (Ethiopia) 2:30:46
Beatie Deutsch (Israel) 2:42:18.
The South African ladies’ elites:
Lebo Dinah Phalula 2:33:48, Lebogang Phalula 2:38:00, Mari Rabie, a triathlete who competed in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics finishing 43rd in the triathlon event and 11th in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.