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Many of South Africa’s most renowned sports personalities, including Olympic Silver Medalist Elana van Zyl Meyer, World Cup Captains Francois Pienaar and John Smit have challenged the captains of other sporting codes to run the popular Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 17 September 2017.

Having received the prestigious Gold Label recognition from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is the most prestigious “must run” marathon on the African continent.

Broadening the race’s existing campaigns for runners to ‘Challenge Yourself’ and ‘Challenge your Friend’, the recently released Challenge your Captain provides the opportunity for leaders in every sphere of South African life to use the network to run and in doing so raise awareness for a healthy lifestyle whilst raising money for charity.

Janet Welham, Race Director commented, “Challenge your Captain” is about encouraging not only participation, but most importantly participation for a cause. The key focus of The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is to leverage change. What better way to realise this goal than by having leaders across South Africa’s various sporting codes, business, politics, arts, culture and society accept the challenge. Through their unselfish actions, these individuals motivate and inspire all of us.”

Former Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar launched the initiative challenging former Proteas cricket captain Graeme Smith to run with him. They will be running the 42.2km to raise funds for the MAD Foundation.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon promotes health and wellness. Participation in an endurance event is one way in which people are able to transform their lifestyles. I call on ALL CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY to join me and lead by example” says Pienaar, if a rugby forward can do it, then no one has an excuse.

Olympian distance runner Elana van Zyl Meyer has challenged retired Proteas netball captain Zanele Mdodana, Olympic swimmer Ryk Neetling, Professional footballer and Bafana Captain Lucas Radebe, and former Bafana player Mark Fish. All have accepted and will be running to raise funds for ENDUROCAD – a non-profit organisation that assists South African athletes achieve their full potential. Whilst former Springbok rugby captain John Smith will be pull on his red socks and raise funds for Unogwaja.

“Having run many marathons, I know how deeply personal and fulfilling the experience is. Particularly when one commits to helping others less fortunate than oneself. In essence this added responsibility drive you forward so as not to disappoint them. Running changes lives, it can change yours too” says van Zyl-Meyer, a former Olympic medallist and multiple world record holder.

So, be the agent for the change you want to see in this incredible country, be an AfriCan, make a difference to those who most need it, CHALLENGE YOURSELF, CHALLEGE A FRIEND OR CHALLENGE

YOUR BOSS/CAPTAIN/LEADER to join you on this remarkable journey by going to and register to run, #itscapetownmustrunit.

Africa is my home, this is my race. It’s Cape Town, must run it!

  • Must explore it
  • Must experience it
  • Must discover it
  • Must feel it

Entries for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon are open. To find out more, go to

Africa is my home, this is my race. It’s Cape Town, must run it!


About the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon:
Awarded IAAF Gold Label status earlier this year, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is an exhilarating festival of running that brings together runners, elite athletes, social joggers and surrounding communities to enjoy a Spring weekend of running through Africa’s spectacularly beautiful Mother City.

The classic Olympian 42.2km marathon takes centre stage on the Sunday, which follows a 10km Peace Run in the morning, and two Peace Trail Runs (22km and 12km) and a 4.2km Fun Run/ Walk on the Saturday.

As Africa’s “must run” iconic city marathon, it aims to facilitate and leverage change at a national level through its Run4Change Legacy Programme, comprising five pillars:

  • To focus on HEALTH and WELLNESS
  • To become one of the biggest FUNDRAISING sporting events in South Africa
  • To promote PEACE and SPORT
  • To be a SUSTAINABLE event
  • To DEVELOP and EMPOWER South African Athletes

Managed by a joint partnership through Western Province Athletics (WPA), ASEM Running and the City of Cape Town, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, to be held in September, is endorsed by Elana Meyer and Francois Pienaar.

The four-day festival starts with the AIMS Africa Conference and the opening day of the Expo on September 14, and will come to a close with the road running contests over various distances on September 17.