Thousands of runners will be taking to Main Road on Sunday morning for the 51st running of the Cape Peninsula Marathon, while a smaller group of battle-hardened mountain runners take on the 30km Bat Run on its traditional route on Table Mountain tonight.
Runners depart pre-dawn tomorrow from Green Point to run the spine of the “Peninsula” in one of the oldest races on the calendar, in pursuit of the traditional finish line at the Naval Sports fields in Simon’s Town, 42,195km away.
Since Dave Wassung’s 2 hr 27 min 52 sec victory in the inaugural Cape Peninsula Marathon in 1964 in, two athletes have won the race three times – Willie Olivier in the 1960’s and Ernest Tjela in the 1980s - with Monica Drogemoller the only athlete boasting four titles, achieved between 1984 and 1991.
On fifty occasions the Cape Peninsula Marathon has been run in a southerly direction, ending in Simon’s Town.
But in 1984, in an attempt to counter the negative impact of running into the south-easter, the race was run in a northerly direction.
Ron Boreham won in 2 hr 17min, but his goal of running 2 hr 12 min was thwarted by an unseasonal north-wester which blew on the day.
Polokwane athlete Lutendo Mapoto won last year in strong south-easterly winds in the same time as Wassung achieved in the inaugural event, but won’t be back to defend his title, leaving the way open for a local victory.
Hout Bay’s Anda Lubelwana, will be looking to move up the podium from his third position last year, three minutes behind the winner.
KPMG’s Ulrica Stander defends her title in the women’s competition, with runners-up Lee-Shay Willemse and Jenna Kamps again in the mix tomorrow.
Nkosinathi Madyo and Zintle Xiniwe defend their titles in the half marathon, run between Bergvliet and Simon’s Town.
The marathon starts at 5.15am at the corner of Main and York Roads in Green Point, with the 21.1km race getting underway from the Bergvliet Sports Complex at 7am. Both races will run to the finish at the SA Naval Sports Grounds in Simon’s Town.
Malawian-born Edson Kumwamba, starts his 2018 trail running season this evening on a favourite route when he defends his title in the iconic Bat Run.
The diminutive distance runner and master-welder has made great strides in the past twelve months, boasting several victories last year including a record-breaking win in the Bat Run and an impressive win in the 76km Puffer.
The race starts and finishes at the Gardens Tech Rugby Club with runners having to summit Devil’s Peak, Maclear’s Beacon and Lion’s Head in succession.
Lucas Adams, who joined Kumwamba in the sub-4 hour club in second place last year, will be making a strong challenge for the title.
Runners get underway at 7pm, with the winner expected home shortly before 11pm.