Described as the world’s most beautiful marathon, The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town has become the most popular road race in South Africa.
The 2014 version of the event kicks off on April 18. Racing enthusiasts and those who appreciate lovely scenery will all find some aspect of the race to enjoy.
Professionals and amateurs from far and wide show up to compete in this epic road race. Per Cape Town Magazine, 11,000 runners will take part in this year’s event.
In 2013, South African David Gatebe won the men’s portion of the race. His time was three hours, 10 minutes and two seconds. Russian Natalia Volgina finished first on the women’s side. Her winning time was 3:38:38.
The race begins at 2 a.m. ET on April 19. For most marathon fans stateside, the race will be over before you wake. Unless you’re burning the midnight oil, you’ll have to catch the results in the morning.
Gatebe will be back to defend his title, but he knows it will be difficult. The race's popularity has grown substantially, leading to an even tougher field to contend with.
Some, such as Gatebe, believe the competition will spur each runner to be at his or her best.
Speaking to Donald Mathipa and Lauren Van der Vyver of Modern Athlete, Gatebe said, “The Kenyans and Ethiopians will lead us to a new record this year.”
He doesn’t think they will leave Cape Town with the title, though: “They’re very good marathoners, but no one is the master of the ultra. After the 42km mark, everybody will tire and all that matters will be mental endurance.”
Gatebe’s stiffest competition might come from South African Stephen Dikobo. The South African won the City to City Marathon in 2013. He and others should provide a solid test for Gatebe.
On the women’s side, keep an eye on Kenyan Jennifer Koech. She also won the City to City Marathon in 2013. She sticks out as a real threat in a more wide-open women’s field.
The 56-kilometer run offers beautiful scenery, but the course is also very taxing, as Gatebe alluded to.
It begins on the main road in Newlands, reaches the quarter mark in Lakeside and the halfway mark on Noordhoek Road, and hits the marathon mark of 42.195 km on Constantia Nek.
The race finishes on the rugby fields of Groote Schuur Estate.
Click here to see a detailed route description as well as diagrams and graphs that articulate the elevation and more.
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