Runners from all over the world will descend on Cape Town this week in preparation for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, which takes place this weekend.

The start and finish will be moved to Helen Suzman Boulevard, where runners will start in seeded batched groups two minutes apart. The race’s staggered start was successfully implemented in 2021.

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon defending champion and record holder Stephen Mokoka, as well as SA national marathon champion Jenet Mbhele, have been named South Africa’s top contenders in the men’s and women’s fields for this year’s long-distance run.

Lydia Simiyu, a 25-year-old elite Kenyan runner, won her debut race in 2021, taking first place and breaking the marathon course record.

The thrilling Vertical Challenge will also take place on race weekend, with 30 elite trail athletes competing in a vertical kilometre race from St Cyprian’s School in Vredehoek to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway via Platteklip Gorge.

Meanwhile, Gerda Steyn, the South African marathon champion, has confirmed that she will run the 10km Peace Run.

Gebru Redahgne, an Ethiopian who finished second in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in 2021, will also return to the Mother City to lead the challenge. Meanwhile, South African Sibusiso Nzima is set to make a big comeback following an injury-plagued season.

He has been working with a new coach since 2020 and is looking forward to seeing his hard work pay off in October.

In the women’s field, Jenet Mbhele is also looking for her first win in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, but she will be up against Stella Marais, who is in great shape after winning the Peninsula Marathon earlier this year.

Mereset Dinke of Ethiopia will also be a threat, having set a marathon PB of 2:25.12 at the Valencia Marathon in Spain in December 2021 and winning the Geneva Marathon in May this year.

Residents of Cape Town will be able to see the runners along their routes, which include Claremont, Rondebosch, District Six, and the finish line in Green Point.

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