by Stephen Granger

Thousands of colourfully-attired participants running alongside scenic shores into the world’s most iconic city-centres is a well-established formula for some of the world’s most popular road races. Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, City to Surf in Sydney and Auckland’s City Run are some of the world’s best-known races celebrating city running but the increasingly popular Absa Run Your City series in three of South Africa’s cities is proof of Africa’s competitiveness in this global market of City races.

The Bay to Breakers is amongst the world’s largest footraces, with 110 000 runners having participated in the 1986 edition, while the Sydney race topped out at 80 000 participants in 2010. With ongoing support from its sponsors and the City’s enthusiastic backing, the Cape Town event has the potential to move into similar territory and become the largest footrace on the continent.

Recently ranked the third greatest city in the world behind Barcelona and Sydney, Cape Town is the ideal city to kick off the series and next weekend’s ABSA Run your City Cape Town 10km (Sunday 15th May) promises to be better than ever. The event has again attracted some of Africa and the world’s best sub-marathon distance athletes, and promises to bring both quality and quantity to the City’s streets on a course labelled as ”the fastest and flattest route ever designed”.

The running buzz has already begun in Cape Town City and will rise to a crescendo by the weekend. Having moved from the previous 12km distance to the more internationally competitive 10km, the race, which includes for the first time a section of the national N1 freeway into the city centre, promises running times likely to challenge the fastest ever seen in the city, the country, the continent and on the planet.

Race organisers’ Stillwater boss Michael Meyer could scarcely hide his enthusiasm.  “With the best-ever field of international and local runners assembled, the new route will certainly encourage them to run world class times. It is going to be extremely exciting to see how fast they can go,” said Meyer.

Bringing together some of the best athletes in the world with Cape Town’s running masses has always been a feature of the race and next weekend will be no exception. “We pride ourselves on hosting an event that not only allows South Africa’s elite to compete against the world’s best runners on home soil, but also gives the everyday runner the opportunity to experience a world class event,” continues Meyer.

And apart from a top-notch field and world-class event management, runners will be able to feast on the city’s scenic and cultural wonders with Table Mountain as the magnificent backdrop as they move at varying speeds towards the city centre from the traditional start in Milnerton. The perfect route, with Sprint and the fantastic ‘DHL Mile To Go’,” added Meyer. “We can’t wait to welcome entrants to the start line ready to #RunYourCity.”

Five charities will benefit from the race with participants entering online able to support one from Reach for a Dream, Help2read, Cotlands, Cape of Good Hope SPCA and Die Burger Kinderfonds. 

Fun and entertainment on the streets of Cape Town during the 2021 Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN race . Photo Jaco Wolmarans

Lively performances from some of Cape Town’s leading performing arts groups along the way, awaits runners and the race’s primary sponsors have also jumped at the opportunity to keep entrants entertained. “Look forward to experiencing a vibrant Absa encouragement point, the fast-paced PUMA Beat Bolt and the fantastic DHL ‘Mile to Go’ “, said Meyer.

The Absa Run your City CAPE TOWN 10km will be shown live on Super Sport Channel 209 between 08h30 and 11h00 next Sunday.

Copyright SPNAfrica News