This year's IAAF Gold Label-status Sanlam Cape Town Marathon offers runners a new and stunningly picturesque route that takes centre stage on Sunday, September 23.
The weekend festival of running has just passed its 100-day countdown mark.
The race begins at one of Cape Town's biggest tourist attractions, the V&A Waterfront. A flat, fast start along the Atlantic Seaboard, the route follows the seafronts of trendy Mouille Point and Sea Point, with the crashing waves off the Sea Point promenade to the right. It then takes a turn against the backdrop of charming Signal Hill, before heading into Cape Town's city centre, weaving through an eclectic mix of modern skyscrapers and historical buildings, to the sound of rallying supporters, passing landmarks including Long Street, the Mount Nelson Hotel, the South African National Gallery, the South African Holocaust Museum, St Mary's Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, the City Gardens, City Hall, District Six and the Castle of Good Hope.
The race then heads out towards the quirky suburbs of Woodstock, Observatory and Mowbray, then through the leafy streets of Rondebosch and Newlands, always under the gaze of majestic Table Mountain. This section of the route passes iconic Groote Schuur Hospital, the University of Cape Town, the President's Cape Town residence and Newlands Cricket Ground, and several historic schools, including Rustenburg Girls' High, Westerford High, San Souci Girls' High, Groote Schuur High, Rondebosch Boys' and Bishops Diocesan College, before reaching the open space of Rondebosch Common.
Turning back alongside the Liesbeek River towards the now-awakening city, the marathon enters the vibrant suburb of Woodstock, with its mix of craft breweries, boutiques, markets, churches and popular restaurants. A long stretch through this area enables runners and supporters to take in panoramic views of Table Mountain.
After moving through Woodstock, the race re-enters the city, heading onto Strand Street before taking a right onto Bree Street and heading up over a purpose-built ramp bridge in De Waterkant. This links directly into the world-famous World Cup 2010 fan walk.
Early-morning race supporters out in their droves will cheer runners on along the fan walk as the athletes head towards Cape Town Stadium, allowing runners a long stretch to experience the vibrancy of the city. The 42.2km event ends at Vlei Road just outside the stadium, where thousands of spectators, runners and organisers will come together in a joyous celebration of accomplishment, enjoying the food, drink and entertainment in a festive carnival atmosphere.