READY FOR BIG RUN

The San­lam Cape Town Marathon is set to at­tract run­ners from all walks of life

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOLOY­ISO MTEMBU noloy­iso.mtembu@inl.co.za

THIS is San­lam Cape Town Marathon month and lo­cal run­ners are fi­nal­is­ing their train­ing in prepa­ra­tion for Africa’s only gold sta­tus In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions marathon, in three weeks’ time. |

THIS is San­lam Cape Town Marathon (SCTM) month and lo­cal run­ners are fi­nal­is­ing their train­ing in prepa­ra­tion for Africa’s only gold sta­tus In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) marathon, in three weeks’ time.

Whether chas­ing a spe­cific tar­get or just go­ing for a day of fun on the road, run­ners said they were ready and equal to the chal­lenge. For some, the race is also an op­por­tu­nity to raise aware­ness and funds for a cause.

Car­bi­neers run­ner Za­man­goma Matl­hare said she was ready for her fourth SCTM. Matl­hare is known for her leg lift pose at the end of each race and will be lac­ing up with thou­sands of run­ners on race day.

She said she had not done much train­ing, but would show up to fin­ish the race un­der five hours.

“This will be my fourth, I will treat it as a long run,” she said.

Matl­hare is one of those who run un­der the ban­ner #Run­ning4Pads, an ini­tia­tive aimed at col­lect­ing and rais­ing funds for san­i­tary pads for school­girls from un­der­priv­i­leged back­grounds.

Do­nated pads are dis­trib­uted to var­i­ous schools in the prov­ince.

“It’s about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in these girls’ lives and rais­ing aware­ness,” she said.

While Matl­hare said she runs be­cause the sport keeps her sane, Heart FM pre­sen­ter Aden Thomas said he runs for the fun of it. He ran his first Cape Town Marathon af­ter ac­cept­ing a chal­lenge from SCTM race am­bas­sador Elana van Zyl-Meyer.

“It was a mis­take. I was in­ter­view­ing Elana about the race and she chal­lenged me to a 10km race. I said: ‘That’s for sissies’. Big mis­take,” he jested.

Three years later, the run­ning bug has bit­ten Thomas. Al­though bat­tling a nig­gly back, Thomas said he is de­ter­mined to be at the start on race day.

“I am go­ing for the full al­lo­cated time. The aim is to have a jol along the route and to fin­ish the race,” he said.

To men­tally pre­pare, he will be run­ning dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the race in short dis­tances be­tween now and race day, he said.

“The great thing is that the route is along fa­mil­iar land­marks. You know what comes next and that is mo­ti­vat­ing,” said Thomas.

InTouch Ath­letic Club veteran run­ner Anthea Ja­cobs has a love-hate re­la­tion­ship with the marathon. She will be run­ning her sixth SCTM.

“The race al­ways takes place close to my dad’s birth­day, so it has a spe­cial place in my heart and I al­ways run it for him,” Ja­cobs said.

“My first SCTM in 2014 was on my dad’s birth­day and I had the priv­i­lege to hang my medal around his neck. Lit­tle did I know it would be the last time I did that,” she said, adding that her fa­ther died the fol­low­ing year. “That year, I ran most of the marathon with tears stream­ing down my face,” she said.

“This year will be dif­fer­ent, I have been strug­gling with in­juries. I am just go­ing out there to have a nice long run and take in the sounds and sights of Cape Town,” Ja­cobs said.

The race al­ways takes place close to my dad’s birth­day, so it has a spe­cial place in my heart ANTHEA JA­COBS InTouch Ath­letic Club

| AR­MAND HOUGH/African News Agency (ANA)

Anthea Ja­cobs, Siyab­ulela Soko­mani, Neal Stacey, Aden Thomas and Za­man­goma Matl­hare stand in front of Cape Town Sta­dium. Lo­cal run­ners are gear­ing up for the Cape Town Marathon tak­ing place on Sun­day, Septem­ber 23. The race is Africa’s only IAAF gold la­bel sta­tus marathon.

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