With the coronavirus pandemic wiping out events all around the World, the Cape Town Marathon which is Africa’s only World Athletics Gold label marathon on the continent, have managed to put together an elite only event but with a difference.
Starting from 3 different City’s around the country, the 2020 Cape Town Marathon will be a race to watch as athletes will run in Cape Town, Potchefstroom and Pretoria, with formulas being done to take into account the different courses as well as altitude. That could mean that someone running 2:14 in Cape Town could lose out to someone running 2:16 in Pretoria, an altitude much higher than Cape Town at sea level.
The Nedbank running club welcome this return to racing and will have athletes in all 3 city’s competing which was by invitation only. In Cape Town, athletes who are based in Cape Town and others who live at sea level have been selected for the Cape Town start. Nedbank RC will be represented by veteran athlete Lindikhaya Mthangayi who has been using the #NedbankRunified series in order to get race ready come Sunday. Mthangayi will definitely start as race favorite in the Cape Town leg. It was in this city which Mthangayi ran his marathon PB of 2:18:02 last year.
Representing the ladies in Cape Town will be Cape Town based Madele du Plessis and Kzn’s Sanelisiwe Mbanjwa, who is the African champion over 50km, a title she won last year in Nigeria.
Heading over to Potchefstroom, a strong lineup awaits the green dream team athletes. Comrades champion Edward Mothibi will be out in action alongside teammates David Manja, Peter Muthubi and Joel Mmone. The latter competing in his debut marathon. Manja is the quickest of the group with a quick 2:13:33 personal best over the marathon distance.
In Pretoria, Olympian Sibusiso Nzima leads the Nedbank RC charge together with teammate Phillimon Mathiba who is fresh off a 2:13:11 marathon from the Dublin Marathon late last year. Joining them in the ladies’ race will be the always improving Chrizell Roberts. Starting off the year with multiple marathon victories, Roberts is coached by Nedbank national team manager Nick Bester and will be looking to cap the year off with a good result.
Comrades queen and Nedbank running club star Gerda Steyn will also be taking part on the day but in the shorter virtual 5km, alongside double Olympic Champion Mo Farah. Steyn is still recovering from her amazing performance at the elites only London Marathon that took place 2 weeks back. Steyn recorded the 2nd fastest time ever for a South African over the marathon, narrowly missing out on the South African record. “I am looking forward to joining in on the fun on Sunday,” said Steyn. “I have tested the race app on my phone and cant wait to be out on the road on Sunday with people from all over the World having signed up for it.”
The good news for everyone wanting to follow these Nedbank running club green dream team athletes is that the events will be broadcast live on Sabc 2 on Sunday morning from 5:45. Let’s all tune in to not only catch all the action but show support for our super stars!