Cape Town is an outdoor lover’s paradise offering such a wide range of outdoor activities that one could never be without a new and wonderful adventure or discovery. Whether you are an extreme sportsperson, or a casual leisure hiker, Cape Town truly has it all in abundance.
Cape Town proudly hosts two spectacular sporting events which are a testament to the city’s great love of the outdoors.
TWO OCEANS MARATHON
The Famous Two Ocean Marathon takes place every year at the end of summer in April. Dubbed ‘The World’s most beautiful marathon’ one can easily see knowing the gorgeous Cape setting. Started in 1970 with 26 runners, the race now has become a national institution and favourite with local and international athletes attracting some 20,000 participants who take on the 56 kilometre run of open roads and challenging mountain climbs.
As the name suggests athletes running this marathon can proudly and romantically boast that they have run past two mighty oceans of the world, namely the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
The race begins in the leafy suburb of Newlands and heads south down the Cape Peninsula to seaside village of Fish Hoek. From there the runners head back up the peninsula going over the spectacular Chapmans Peak mountain pass into the fishing village of Hout Bay. This is followed the gruelling Constantia Nek Pass – a long upward hill that tests your physical endurance and mental strength! To help you on your way though, you can trust the supportive Hout Bay residents who are always there to cheer you on. The reward at the top is the downward stretch home!
The Two Ocean Marathon has various options for runners. There is the Ultra marathon which is the full 56 km run, and the Half Marathon which is 21.1 km. With the rise in popularity of trail running, the organisers have recently introduced both long and short runs for beginner and experienced runners, that start at UCT and take runners along the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak and nearby forests. There are a lot of fun activities around the event for everyone – for example there is the Nappy Dash which is a 56 metre run for kids up to 3 years old. How about taking part in the International Friendship Run where international visitors are invited for a social and scenic 5km run/walk through the City of Cape Town, past some of the city’s most famous landmarks. Bring your country’s flag and spread goodwill among all nations!
The record holders.
The record holders for the race are South Africa’s Thompson Magawana, who holds the Mens Record of 3:05:31 in 1987 and the Womens’ record is set in 2011 by Russian Olesya Nurgalieva of 3:33:58. Hang on guys, the ladies are catching you!
ARGUS CYCLE TOUR
The other great sports event of international acclaim is of course the Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour which is one of South Africa’s three largest sporting events (the others being the Comrades Marathon and the Midmar Dam swim). It started in 1977 as a ride from the Grand Parade down Adderley Street to the Foreshore which was a huge success and from which came the idea of a long distance ride, and so the ‘Peninsula Marathon’ was born.
Today it is and is the largest and most prestigious cycling event in the world and attracts some 35,000 cyclists who pitch their strength and fitness against this great sporting challenge.
The 109 kilometre tour takes in some of the most scenic places in the Cape Peninsula. It starts in the City Centre and follows the Blue Route down to Simonstown, and then heads back along the western cost of the peninsula along Chapmans Peak. It goes through the fishing village of Hout Bay up the last gruelling hill of Suikerbossie before heading downhill through Camps Bay to finish in Green Point. There is a carnival atmosphere for the race – supporters cheer the cyclists along the route and much fun and entertainment is organised for families, friends and visitors at the finishing point, Green Point Stadium.
In addition to the main Cycle Tour there’s the Junior Tour (6 to 12 year olds), the Tricycle Tour (2 to 6 year olds), the Giro del Capo (a five day event for international competitive cyclists), the Mountain Bike Challenge and an Expo that all make up the Lifecycle Week - a series of events occurring in the week preceding the Cycle Tour.
The record holders.
The Men’s race record is 2:27:29 held by Robbie Hunter in 2008. The Womens record is 2:48:29 set in 2007 by Anke Erland-Moore.
YOUR CAPE TOWN, YOUR WAY
Whether your experience of the Cape is participating on one of these great events, or exploring the famous sights as your own private journey, or discovering the Cape’s many secrets, the outdoors has an allure that makes you want to feel the warmth on your face, the breeze in your hair and breathe in the immense beauty that is all around you!
Tagged: ARGUS CYCLE TOUR, Chapmans Peak, Two Ocean Marathon