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Ultra marathon queen Steyn wins fifth-successive Two Oceans, Khonkhobe reigns supreme for men

Gerda Steyn proved once again that she indeed is the queen of ultra marathon on the continent after she claimed her fifth-successive victory at the TotalSports Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday morning.

The 34-year-old from Bothaville in the Free State cruised to victory with a record time of 3:26:54, beating her 2023 time of 3: 29:05.

Relaxed as ever throughout the marathon, Steyn cemented her status as the country's best female ultra marathoner of all time.

Representing her running club Phantane AC regalia, Steyn surpassed South Africa's Monica Drogemoeller (1988, 1990, 1991 and 1992) and Russian twin Elena Nurggalieva's (2004, 05, 09 and 12) records to be the most decorated ultra marathoner in competition.

Coming to the race, Steyn said she expected a hard-fought battle.

In windy conditions, it was clear from the start of the race that she meant business as she sped into the lead.

At 14km defending Champion Steyn, Irvette van Zyl, and Zimbabwean Loveness Madziva all formed a tight bunch of three, all running an average of 3:35 a kilometre.

At 28km, it became a two-horse race between Steyn and Van Zyl as they climbed small Chappie's neck on neck.

The race between the two titans, a classic rematch of two years ago, there was little separating the two as they descended Chapman's Peak.

At the marathon mark (42.2km), Steyn showed her supremacy and pulled ahead of van Zyl.

Nicknamed the “Smiling Assassin”, she looked unbeatable climbing Constantia Nek and the writing was on the wall for Van Zyl at the 50km mark.

As Steyn passed the finish line, she received a kiss on the cheek from her husband Duncan and cheers from the UCT upper campus sports ground mound.

Van Zyl finished second with a time of 03:29:30 while Madziva clocked 3:38:00 at the end.

In the men’s race, Klerksdorp's Onalenna Khonkhobe became the first South African since 2019 to win the race.

“I’m announcing my arrival; tomorrow you will acknowledge me.” Those were the words of Khonkhobe before the marathon.

He did exactly that with as triumphed in a time of 3:09:30 for top podium finish.

It was his second Two Oceans after making his debut last year, finishing in sixth place.

His Nedbank AC teammate, Lloyd Bosman finished second in 3:09:58 while defending champion Givemore Mudzinganyama could not repeat his 2023 feat, as he took third position in 3:11:13.

(04/16/2024) Views: 258 ⚡AMP
by Anathi Wulushe
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Gerda Steyn eyes historic fifth victory at Two Oceans Marathon

In the world of ultra-marathon running, few names resonate as powerfully as Gerda Steyn’s. The South African athlete, whose journey from a relatively unknown quantity surveyor to a world-renowned ultra-marathoner is nothing short of inspirational, is on the cusp of attempting her fifth consecutive title at the prestigious Two Oceans Marathon.

Steyn’s initial foray into the marathon scene was modest, with a debut at the Comrades Marathon that, while impressive, flew under the radar. However, her entry into the Two Oceans Marathon in 2016 hinted at the potential that lay within. Despite finishing 30 minutes behind the winner, Steyn’s time was a harbinger of the greatness that was to unfold in the years to come.

By 2018, Steyn had shattered any notions of being an underdog by clinching her first Two Oceans victory with a stunning performance that etched her name into the annals of the marathon’s history. Her subsequent victory in 2019, where she narrowly missed breaking a 30-year-old record, solidified her status as a force to be reckoned with.

The pandemic may have delayed her pursuits, but Steyn returned with a vengeance in 2022, breaking the coveted 3:30 barrier and setting a new record, a feat she outdid the following year with an even more impressive time. These victories were not just personal triumphs but moments of national pride, bringing her family and supporters immense joy.

As Steyn gears up for her fifth title attempt, her focus remains as unwavering as ever. Her recent victories at the Vaal Marathon and the Om Die Dam 50km, both in record time, indicate she is in prime form. Yet, Steyn’s humility shines through, as she prefers to highlight the role of her club, Phantane, and its founder, Mdu Khumalo, in her journey. Her influence on the club and its athletes, especially the women, underscores the impact of her success beyond her personal achievements.

The Two Oceans Marathon is not just a race for Steyn; it’s a testament to her dedication, resilience, and the support network that has been instrumental in her rise. As she stands on the precipice of making history once again, the marathon world watches in anticipation, knowing that Steyn’s legacy is one of not just breaking records, but of inspiring a generation of runners to dream big and aim higher.

(04/10/2024) Views: 235 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Stephen Mokoka — Ready to tackle the Two Oceans Marathon

Stephen Mokoka is arguably South Africa’s best all-round road athlete and one of the most consistent marathoners. He already boasts a proud Totalsports Two Oceans record – five gold medals out of five starts, including four wins, in the competitive Two Oceans Half Marathon.

But this year he steps up to the ‘big daddy’ in his first race in excess of 50km.If there had ever been any doubt about Mokoka’s ability to stay the pace beyond the standard marathon 42km, his world record win at the Runified 50km in Gqeberha in March 2022, which he won in 2:40:13, would have dispelled them. Had there been suspicions that the 39-year-old, Mokoka might have slowed in recent years, his 2:06:42 marathon PB in Japan last February – just 9 seconds outside Gert Thys’ national record – would have shushed the nay-sayers in no uncertain terms.

Mokoka has chosen to race the 2024 Totalsports Two Oceans 56km as part of his build-up to the Olympic Marathon in Paris in August and while Magawana’s mark may not be in Mokoka’s sights this year, there is little doubt that Mokoka’s stepping up to the 56km race has placed it in mortal danger in the not-too-distant future.

“I never met Thompson Magawana,” Mokoka admitted from Taipei on the weekend, where he competed in the New Taipei City Marathon. “But his time in the Two Oceans is impressive. From my side, I feel I need to learn the distance first. Before Gerda broke the women’s record, she had run it twice before.

“I don’t have the record in mind this year. My goal is to get strength and use the hills in preparation for the Olympic Marathon, which has an elevation gain of over 430 metres. I’ve seldom run a hilly marathon, only Cape Town Marathon in 2022 (which had a 380m elevation gain), so that’s why I chose to run the Hong Kong and Taipei Marathons (both incorporate testing climbs) this year in preparation for Two Oceans.

“As I’m new at the distance, my goal for this year is to have fun, enjoy and learn. I will need to build more strength and endurance to have a go at the record. Maybe in the next year or two.”

Unlike at the testing Hong Kong Marathon, where Mokoka raced to a competitive second in 2:12:58 in January this year, just 8 seconds behind Kenyan Anderson Seroi, Mokoka’s approach to the New Taipei City Marathon, just four weeks before the Two Oceans, was to use the hilly marathon as a training run, which he completed in a comfortable 2:24:20.

“The Taipei Marathon didn’t really disrupt my training.” Mokoka explained. “I arrived just three days before the race and travelled back home soon after. My target was to run 2:15 through 40km and I went through in 2:16. I plan to take off three days, just running easily, before my last block of training for Two Oceans. There is still much hard work ahead as we move into a speed cycle.”

Mokoka enjoys racing in Cape Town, the scene of multiple racing titles on road and track, and is excited about incorporating new elements to his training for the Two Oceans with his long-time coach, Michael ‘Sponge’ Seme.

“Much has changed in my training programme for the Oceans with longer runs incorporating longer hills,” Mokoka continued. “I’m no longer doing the sessions I did in my preparation for the 50km. Everything is new – I enjoy that.

“Taipei was my last longer run and from now I’m back to normal marathon preparation – the toughest part is behind me and now I’m back to something which I’m familiar with.”

Mokoka recently moved from the red-vested Boxer Club to Hollywood Athletics Club’s distinctive purple, saying the club has given him a new lease of life. “Hollywood’s priorities are different and I’m glad they are on board with all the things I mentioned before signing with them.

“They’re happy with my limited and focused schedule – Hong Kong Marathon, Totalsports Two Oceans then Olympics. They have made it possible for me to train at high altitude in Kenya for a solid block prior to the Olympics. I’ll be training with Kenyan athletes such as Cyrus Mutai, who won the New Taipei Marathon.”

Training with the Kenyans could take Mokoka to new heights, but before that is a date with ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon’ and Two Oceans Marathon destiny. And in time, Magawana’s history.

(04/05/2024) Views: 242 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Irvette van Zyl to bring tough competition in Two Oceans Marathon

Irvette van Zyl is one of those athletes who wear their heart on their sleeve. With her, what you see is what you get. And what you hear her say, she always means.

This week when she spoke about her excitement at being able to run the Total Sports Two Oceans Marathon, the Hollywood Running Club athlete resembled a kid in a sweet shop. And with good reason too, for Van Zyl endured the pain of watching last year’s race on the sidelines due to injury.

She hated not being part of the race. Understandably so, for the year before she had smashed the 56km Mother City ultra as she dipped below Frith van der Merwe’s record from 1989 that had previously been thought of as unbreakable. Incredibly, despite her fantastic -3:30:31, Van Zyl was not the winner in 2022, that honour belonging to that South African road-running machine called Gerda Steyn -3:29:45.

As she looked ahead to next month’s (April 13) race during the announcement of Hollywood’s team for the World’s Most Beautiful Marathon, Van Zyl revealed just how tough it was for her not being able to race last year.

“Being on the other side seeing them race, it was really hard. When the finish tape was broken my heart broke into so many pieces. It was so hard that day, but I am glad to be back in the race and I am looking forward to doing well. If I win Two Oceans I am gonna start drinking again,” she laughed.

“But it should not be an obsession. Hopefully I can give someone tough competition. And you all know who that someone is.”

She did give Steyn competition back in 2022 when the two of them ran under Van Der Merwe’s record from 1989.

“I knew going into 2022 that I had done a 50k, and I had a plan to run a 3:30. I knew it was possible and it went good on the day, but it was just not good enough. Gerda levelled that record and I was a part of it. It was an interesting race but unfortunately just three kilometres longer for me,” she said before letting out that piercing laugh of hers.

While she will be out for glory, Van Zyl is just glad to be back running, having felt the pain of being out due to injury.

“I value my running now more than I did before after it was taken away from me for so many months. It felt like the injury would not heal and I was never coming back. Hopefully

I still have a few years in me to run. If injury comes, you never know if it will be the end. So I am going to enjoy it race for race, as if it was my last because you never know if it will be the last.”

And she considers herself very blessed to be running for a supportive club.

“I am a happier athlete now, and I am very pleased with the support I got from Hollywood during my long-term injury. They were good and helped me come back because they are interested in the human being. They just want us to be the best that we can be. They know I am not a running machine and now I can enjoy my running game again.”

She will enjoy it even more if she wins Two Oceans next month.

(03/20/2024) Views: 314 ⚡AMP
by Matshelane Mamabolo
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Gerda Steyn hopes for a fourth win at Two Oceans

With 50 days to go to the “world’s most scenic race”, the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon (TTOM) is shaping up to be an elite fest with a stellar field.

Once again, any athlete who breaks the record in the Men’s or Women’s Ultra Marathon Race can look forward to a record incentive of ZAR 250,000 (EUR 12,800) in cash.

With prize money for the Totalsports Two Oceans Ultra Marathon at ZAR 250,000, any record-breaker could look forward to a massive ZAR 500,000 pay day on 15 April 2023.

Nkosikhona “Pitbull” Mhlakwana, who made a sensational Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon debut last year, lived up to his nickname showing tremendous tenacity finishing in a superb second place behind Ethiopia’s Endale Belachew, with Sboniso Sikhakhane coming in third.

As expected, the 30-year-old considers himself to be a bit stronger and wiser, and determined to do one better this year.

“My main goal is to improve my position from last year,” says Mhlakwana.

The Hollywood Athletic club athlete says he picked up invaluable experience last year and now knows what to expect.

Another epic battle for supremacy is expected this year in the women’s Ultra. Gerda Steyn and ASICS athlete, Irvette van Zyl, who both shattered Frith van der Merwe’s longstanding women’s 56km record of 3:30:36 set in 1989, have confirmed they will line up again this year.

Steyn (3:29:42) became the first woman to run the grueling route in sub 3:30. The 32-year-old returns this year in a bid to be crowned champion for an unprecedented fourth consecutive time, while running as the current record-holder.

The three-time champion, who will be running in her permanent blue number, 6067, will, however, not have it all her own way, with the 34-year-old Van Zyl (3:30:31) finishing just a few seconds behind her last year. The purists can rest assured that Van Zyl will come out guns blazing and ready for another classic battle with Steyn.

Steyn says she is very excited to be preparing for the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon again.

“This will be my fifth time running the race, and I am really hoping for a fourth win after taking the title three times in a row now. Last year was such a highlight for me. I am just hoping to repeat that experience and that win. The preparations until now have been going well, which makes me even more excited for the race,” she says.

With 50 days to go before Race Day, Steyn feels the next three to four weeks will be crucial to her preparations.

“Another very exciting aspect of this year’s Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon is that it will be the first time that I will be running in my permanent number in any race.

“Usually, one has to complete 10 Ultra Marathons, but I managed to win the race three times, therefore earned a blue number. This brings a very special touch for me. At the moment I am preparing for the Two Oceans in Johannesburg. The energy level and excitement is at an all-time high," adds Steyn before wishing all runners everything of the best with the final stretch of preparations.

If excitement levels are high for the Ultra on the Saturday, the battle for supremacy in the Half Marathon on Sunday, 16 April, will be even higher. The likes of previous winners Stephen Mokoka, Elroy Gelant, as well as Precious Mashele from the Boxer Athletic Clubs, have all confirmed their entries. Moses Tarakinyu from Zimbabwe is back to defend his title with Entsika’s Desmond Mokgobu also looking to improve on his third place from last year.

Last year’s winner, Fortunate Chidzivo, will not be lining up to defend her title in the women’s Half Marathon this year, which leaves the race wide open for a new champion to be crowned.

(02/28/2023) Views: 812 ⚡AMP
by AIMS
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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2021 Two Oceans Marathon has been cancelled due to the pandemic

Cape Town’s premier running event, the Two Oceans Marathon scheduled for Easter Saturday, April 3, has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 56 km race is the second largest ultramarathon in South Africa and has been held since 1970. According to a media release by the race organizers, “the current pandemic climate, [and] the health risks around hosting the… mass participation event are far too significant for the event to proceed safely.”

“It is never pleasant when an event like this is disrupted and which in turn affects the fixture calendar and the many athletes who are already planning for that day,” said Jakes Jacobs, President of Western Province Athletics (the provincial authority for the event). “However, it is even more painful to us when an event of this magnitude is forced to be cancelled. Unfortunately, the pandemic knows no bounds and… no one knows when it will be put under control or even be eliminated, if at all.

We have consulted with Athletics South Africa regarding the race. Western Province Athletics and the organizers eventually took this final decision after taking into consideration the many factors in the management of the event and the current behavior of the virus.”

The organizers said while they did consider a postponement of the event to a later date, they are “planning alternative events and programmes… within the prevailing regulations”. These will be announced soon.

The Two Oceans was also cancelled in 2020, when it would have been the 51st running of the ultramarathon (and the 23rd of the accompanying half-marathon). When it was last held in 2019, the winners were Bongmusa Mthembu and Gerda Steyn (her second consecutive victory). The race had 12,026 finishers; the combined total of 26,509 finishers in the ultra and half-marathon easily makes it the biggest running event in South Africa.

Almost simultaneously with this news, Athletics South Africa announced that track and field events can resume this weekend after several months of no activity. It is expected that the country’s COVID-19 lockdown level will be lowered by the government before or on February 15, which would increase the limit on the number of people allowed at public gatherings such as track and field meetings and road races.

(02/06/2021) Views: 1,206 ⚡AMP
by Riël Hauman
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Two Oceans pain for champ Mthembu

Two Oceans Marathon defending down-run champion, Bongmusa Mthembu, was keen to entrench his dominance in this year’s edition of the competition but the coronavirus stifled his advancement.

The Bulwer-born athlete was left dejected by the cancellation of the Two Oceans Marathon.

The marathon was set to take place last week where scores of local and international runners from were to come together with their sights set on supremacy in the Cape Town annual road running extravaganza but it wasn’t to be. Mthembu reigned supreme last year and was looking forward to dazzling once again.

“I was looking forward to the Two Oceans Marathon. I was disappointed when I heard that it had been cancelled. I worked very hard for that competition,” said the elite member of the Arthur Ford Running Club.

“I knew that many athletes were coming for me and I needed to do something special to step up. I even took a break from social media to focus on preparations for defending my crown. If I had my way, the race would have been postponed instead of cancelled. I know I speak for many runners who felt that the race should have been scheduled for another time this year.”

Mthembu is also the current holder of the Comrades Marathon down-run title after winning the ultra-marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in 2018. He came close to winning the Comrades up-run last year but was pipped by Edward Mothibi. The Covid-19 outbreak has forced the organizers of this year’s Comrades to postpone the race.

“We respect the decision taken by South African government (placing the country on lockdown and suspending community gatherings). This is a natural disaster. The rest of the world is suffering from the same virus. Our preparations (for Comrades Marathon) have been distracted, we can’t hide that but we need to accept it. If we have to start afresh, let it be. The lives of South Africans are more important than the sport. This will pass and we will come back and compete again,” he added.

The decision about this year’s Comrades Marathon is yet to be taken. The SA biggest marathon was scheduled to take place on June 14. Mthembu will be eyeing his fourth title this year if the 2020 race happens. He has made the down-run his own but feels strongly that a race like the Two Oceans is a great precursor to the dash between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

“The focus was purely on the Two Oceans and then thereafter I was going switch my mind towards the Comrades Marathon. I’m also a defending champion for the down-run. We will wait and see what the future holds. But as I said, the most important for now is to comply with the rules and regulations of the country. We can’t be worried about Comrades while the rest of the world is trying to fight this virus. Let us fight the virus first and then we can focus on running races,” Mthembu explained.

The 36-year-old distance specialist was the winner of the world famous race in 2014, 2017 and 2018. He made his Comrades debut back in 2006.

“I always want to be consistent, my brother. That’s what always pushes me to do well.

(04/22/2020) Views: 1,541 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Two-time defending women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra-marathon champion, Gerda Steyn, confirms bid for Two Oceans hat-trick in 2021

Two-time defending women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra-marathon champion, Gerda Steyn, has confirmed her return to the race in 2021.

According to the official Two Oceans Marathon website, this will be no ordinary return as the current Two Oceans Marathon queen has left it in no doubt that her intention is to "defend her title".

In other words, one of the finest - male or female - long-distance athletes South Africa has produced is setting her sights on a hat-trick of Two Oceans Marathon wins come Easter Saturday, 3 April, 2021.

Steyn was of course gunning for a Two Oceans Marathon treble at what would have been the 51st edition of the race on 11 April, 2020.

Like so many sporting events scheduled to take place, the 2020 edition of the race had to be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Steyn potentially joins a super-elite list of runners.

Should Steyn be victorious once again in 2021, she’ll become the first athlete to win three titles in a row since Lesotho's Angelina Sephooa did so between 1997-1999.

Steyn would also join a small group who have won the Two Oceans Marathon three times or more.

First to win three titles was Beverley Malan in 1982, 1983 and 1985

Monica Drogemuller claimed the title in 1990, 1991 and 1992

Angelina Sephooa won in 1997, 1998 and 1999

The Nurgalieva twins, Olesya and Elena, claimed victory in 2008, 2010, and 2011; and 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2012, respectively

“I simply love this race,” said Steyn.

“I have to come back and try and make it number three in a row.”

Steyn almost causes women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra record to tumble in 2019.

Steyn won her first Two Oceans title in 2018 when she defeated Dominika Stelmach by just over two-and-a-half minutes.

Twelve months ago Steyn clinched victory by an astounding 10 minutes ahead of runner-up, Irvette van Zyl.

Her victory in 2019 was decidedly more emphatic.

(04/16/2020) Views: 1,508 ⚡AMP
by Manfred Seidler
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Organizers confirm extra 2km to ultra-marathon route for the Two Oceans Marathon

Organizers of the Two Oceans Marathon have confirmed that this year's ultra-marathon will be run over a distance of approximately 58km - some 2km further than the previous 50 editions of the race.

While there has been wide-spread speculation among the running community in recent weeks as to a change in route, organizers, via a press release to the media, race stakeholders and runners, confirmed "small changes" to the ultra-marathon route for the 51st running of the race on Easter Saturday, April 11, 2020.

The new route - which is still to be announced - will add approximately 2km to the overall distance, turning the 56km race first held in 1970 into a 58km outing for the 11 000-strong field.

Entrants concerned over finishing before the cut-off gun sounds have been assured that the various medal cut-offs and overall finishing time will be adjusted accordingly.

Finer details regarding the exact ultra-marathon route will be announced "soon".

Suffice it to say, Thompson Magawana's men's 1988 record (3:03:44) and Frith van der Merwe's women's mark (3:30:36) set in 1989 will remain intact for at least another year.

(02/28/2020) Views: 1,633 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Three-time Comrades Marathon winner Bongumuza Mthembu won the men's race at the 50th edition of the Two Oceans Marathon

South Africans dominated the 50th edition of the Two Oceans Marathon.

Three-time Comrades Marathon winner Bongumusa Mthembu and Gerda Steyn finished first in the ultra-marathon in Cape Town on Saturday.

Mthembu completed the race in just over three hours clocking 3:08:40.

Gerda Steyn successfully defended her Two Oceans Marathon title with a time of 3:31:29.

(04/22/2019) Views: 1,978 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Strong Kenyan runners will compete at Two Oceans marathon

The Kenyans are coming – and this time with real intent. And for the first time since 1988, Thompson Magawana’s Old Mutual Two Oceans record of 3 hours 3 min 44 sec, which has stood for 31 years, looks vulnerable.

Kenyans are not new to Two Oceans – John Wachira won way back in 2009 and 25-year-old Justin Kemboi Chesire came from nowhere to clinch victory last year, which was as unexpected as it was decisive.

But the anticipated full-on assault on the Two Oceans record from the best runners on the planet has been absent. Until now.

And in the 50th edition of the “World’s Most Beautiful Marathon”, where the elite field is sprinkled with talented debutants, the name of Abraham Kiprotich shines like a beacon. Running in the colours of France – Kiprotich opted to claim citizenship from that country after serving in the French Foreign Legion – the 33-year-old travels to Cape Town with impeccable marathoning credentials and is on a mission to finally bury Magawana’s record and claim the R1 million bonus on offer.

Kiprotich will be racing Oceans just five months after placing third in the Istanbul Marathon in 2:10:55 – just 20 seconds off Magawana’s marathon best at the time won Two Oceans in 1987 in 3:05:31 and a year later when he broke the record a second time.

But Kiprotich’s marathon life best of 2:08:33 is more than two minutes faster – set at the Daegu Marathon in Korea in April 2013, suggesting that the French Kenyan is the real deal in his quest for Two Oceans glory.

There is little doubting his pedigree – his older brother, Paul Kipkoech, won gold in the 10 000m at the 1987 World Championships when Kiprotich was just two years old.

The fact that Kiprotich will be part of a strong squad of athletes who have been training together in the Kenyan highlands is further evidence suggesting a winning time faster than Zimbabwean Marko Mambo’s 3:05:39 set in 2005 – the closest any athlete has come to Magawana’s magical mark. In a remarkable feat, Magawana ran solo from pillar to post in 1988 to claim the brand-new automobile on offer for the record, while Kiprotich will have the advantage of being able to bide his time in a lead pack likely to be dominated by Kenyans.

Chesire will defend his title with experienced Melly Kennedy (4th last year), Jess Gichuhi (10th) and late entry, 2 hr 15 min marathoner, Isaac Kiprorir, providing strong back-up and team support. 

“The record attempt is definitely on,” the Kenyans’ manager, Craig Fry, stated yesterday. “Our aim is to have a proper crack at the record.  We have planned their splits accordingly.  We’re going out for the record, rather than just playing safe and  banking on a win.”

(04/18/2019) Views: 1,996 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Crutch Runner, Ipeleng Khunou returns to take another stab at the Two Oceans Marathon

Ipeleng Khunou was born with an illness that impacts his balance but this has not held the inspirational athlete back and he will continue to defy the odds when he participates in the annual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday.

The 31-year-old from Rustenburg competed and finished the 21 km half-marathon on crutches last year and is returning this year to raise awareness about his condition‚ and to also raise funds for children struggling with disabilities.

Known as ‘The Crutch Runner’‚ Khunou was born with a rare brain illness called septo-optic dysplasia which causes loss of balance and also affects eyesight. But he has not allowed this to hold him back.

He said the most important part of making this happen is not only staying committed to his training but also working with organisations that are aligned with his goals.

“I believe in running for a purpose and I want to work with companies that don’t just believe in me as an individual but support athletes and people from all kinds of backgrounds and abilities.

‘‘That’s why I joined the Nedbank Running Club. It is more than just a club‚ athletes of all kinds are welcome and supported.” he said.

Nedbank Running Club national manager‚ Nick Bester said: ‘‘Our purpose as Nedbank Running Club is providing a platform for all people interested in road running to participate regardless of their skill level.

‘‘We encourage our members to participate in our various regular running activities across the country. Ours is to ensure that all runners are supported in their quest to run their best race.

“Ipeleng is one of the people whose values are a great match with ours as a club‚ he runs to give back to the community and we are proud to support an athlete like him.”

Since his first Om Die Dam race‚ Khunou has run the Soweto Marathon‚ Ocal Global Journey for Change‚ Kronberg Marathon and the Nelson Mandela Remembrance 10K race.

He plans to finish the Two Oceans race again this year in his Nedbank Green‚ all for his fund-raising efforts.

“My dream is for the sports world to include a crutch-running category‚” he said.

‘‘I want to be able to compete in as many races as possible‚ continue to raise awareness and running for a purpose.

‘‘At the moment‚ I’m working on running my best time at the Two Oceans Marathon.”

(04/16/2019) Views: 1,953 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Before her 30th birthday Liz Warner plans to run 30 of the world’s toughest marathons

America’s Liz Warmer (28) has set out on a wild journey to tackle and defeat the most challenging long-distance running routes in 30 different countries, across seven continents, in support of 20 charities, before she turns the big three-O.

From running alongside an active volcano in Antigua, Guatemala, to battling the sweltering heat in the Sahara Desert Marathon, Warner is taking on the world and all of its challenging landscapes.

“Many have asked why and how I came up with this slightly mental idea in the first place. I guess I was at a point of transition and deep reflection in my life at the end of last year (one could call it a very mild existential crisis.)

“All I knew was that…whatever I was going to do next, had to check off the following three life objectives, it would have to positively impact the world outside my own personal bubble, inspire others to show them that, in their power as one individual, they too have the capacity to change the lives of others and involve my two loves in life: running marathons and travelling the world,” says Warner.

Warner has already conquered 13 marathons, including Tokyo Marathon Japan, Seoul International Marathon, Singapore OSIM Sundown Marathon, Bagan Temple Marathon Myanmar, and the Sahara Marathon.

It was from her passion for cultures around the world and bringing about change to inspire others that birthed Run to Reach.

“So, how did I go about choosing all of the different marathons? Each marathon I’ve signed up for is more or less off-the-beaten path. Think running in the Sahara Desert in Western Algeria or across ice sheets in Antarctica. I also felt a moral duty to sign up for marathons in areas that were experiencing some sort of social, political, or economic issues, such as in Sierra Leone, Palestine, or Kurdistan Iraq.

Each of these marathons demonstrate how running can be a powerful, unifying act of peace and movement. And by connecting with a number of local people in each place I hope tell also tell a different story of these countries. Paint them in a more beautiful way by showing the rest of the world a small piece of their vibrant cultures,” says Warner.

Next on the list is Cape Town’s very own Two Oceans Marathon, taking place this April 20.

(04/07/2019) Views: 2,128 ⚡AMP
by Aimee Pace
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Defending champions Kenyan Justin Kemboi Chesire and local favorite Gerda Steyn are hoping to successfully defend their titles at Two Oceans

A quality field of top local and international elite athletes will take part in this year's Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday April 20.

Defending champions Kenyan Justin Kemboi Chesire (3:09:22) and local favourite Gerda Steyn (3:39:32), both from Nedbank Running Club, will be hoping to successfully defend their titles.

Steyn is training with an end goal of Comrades in mind, and with the Easter weekend being that much later this year, it might be a tough task to pull off both wins.

Chesire's training has been going according to plan but he can expect some tough competition from a quality field of ultra runners who have all been training to win.

His fellow countryman Abraham Kiprotich, who boasts the fastest marathon of the entire field (2:10 at the Istanbul Marathon late last year), will be running his first ultra marathon and it will be an interesting test to see how he fares over the last 14km with the Constantia Nek climb part of this last section.

Another popular Maxed Elite runner, Zimbabwean Prodigal Khumalo, is back running after a foot injury had him sidelined since December last year. Khumalo has chosen to run the 24km trail event.

Joining this strong field of male runners is local trail legend Ryan Sandes. He has switched from running the trail event for this year, to running his first 56km ultra event. Sandes is hoping to add the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon to his illustrious list of achievements.

(04/03/2019) Views: 2,020 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Dave Chamberlain is running the Two Oceans ultra marathon 50 times in 50 days that's 2800km

As if running the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon isn’t an astonishing enough feat, one man has taken on an epic challenge to run it 50 times in the 50 days leading up to the race.

Dave Chamberlain is celebrating the Two Oceans’ 50th anniversary by running the race 50 times over - totalling a mind-blowing 2800km.

He's already clocked up 25 of the 50 runs, putting more than 1400km behind him.  Determination keeps him going.

“I think it’s just pigheaded stubbornness,” Chamberlain said.

“I have a belief that this project is within the realm of most people, so I feel I have to prove it. I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t.”

He’s doing the 50-50-50 challenge in aid of BirdLife South Africa, raising funds for the African Penguin Relocation Project.

It is not Chamberlain’s first crazy long-distance challenge.  The Pretoria-born athlete has run the length of Argentina, crossed Canada and run through the Namibian desert to Port Elizabeth.

To tackle this latest endurance adventure, he wakes up every morning at 4.30am, and focuses on eating a carb-rich breakfast before getting his run started at 6am in Newlands.

“I don’t worry about tomorrow or day 30, otherwise I’d do my head in,” he said. “Days 4, 5 and 6 are awful, as your body is getting used to it. Everything is inflamed, and your tendons feel like they want to snap.

“Then the body learns how to adapt and ups its efficiency at dealing with all the waste products.”  Once your body gets used to the demands of running an ultra marathon over and over, he said that each day’s run becomes active recovery from the day before.

“The body actually heals itself while you’re running,” he said.  Approaching the halfway mark this week, Chamberlain said he was feeling physically strong, but running the same loop every day was taking its toll psychologically.

“I feel like my body has adapted to the distance, it’s holding up much better than anticipated,” he said.

“It’s going to be a test of the mind. The boredom is going to be my biggest threat.”

(03/28/2019) Views: 2,144 ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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South African's David Gatebe gunning for 56K Two Oceans Marathon record

Gatebe is intent on doing to the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon record what he did to the Comrades Marathon two years ago - obliterate it. “David says he’d like to break the record,” said his coach John Hamlett on Wednesday. “And he’s looking good for it. Of course it is not an easy record and with the seconding restrictions at Two Oceans, we will find it a little difficult to feed him well. But he is going for it.” Gatebe and Edwin Khonkhobe are Hamlett’s two athletes who will be going to the Mother City to compete for the title on Saturday. “Edwin is a very fast, new kid on the ultras block who has really come alive and we are hoping he gets onto the podium.” The record that David will try to beat is 3:03:44 set by Thompson Magawana in 1988 for the 56K (35 mile) race in Cape Town, SA. (03/29/2018) Views: 2,001 ⚡AMP
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Gongqa all set to defend His Two Oceans marathon title

If you thought Lungile Gongqa’s Old Mutual Two Oceans marathon win last year would dull his hunger for gold, think again. “I trained more than I did last year, so I might run faster. I ran the Cape Peninsula Marathon on February 18 and my performance suggested I would do well at the Two Oceans,” said Gongqa at the Nedbank team’s sendoff in Johannesburg this week. “When I won the Two Oceans last year, I turned back in 2.22. I finished the Peninsula marathon in 2:21.58, which means I can clock another 2.22 at the halfway mark this year.” Despite the fact that all eyes were probably going to be on him, Gongqa said he felt no pressure to push himself. “I’ll run the way I want to. But first I want to make it to the top 10. Winning last year’s Two Oceans has changed my life and earned me the respect of my fellow athletes.” (03/26/2018) Views: 1,820 ⚡AMP
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If Charne Bosman Runs the race of her life she can win the Two Oceans Marathon

Given her current form and pedigree, Charne Bosman is among the favorites to win next weekend’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town but everything has to go right. “I’ll be happy if I can get a top five finish at Two Oceans,” Bosman said this week. “It’s been a good year so far... Tuks (Marathon) was difficult with lots of uphills but I still managed to run a 2:50 and win. I am looking forward to the Two Oceans and will be happy if I can do around 3:48.” She believes, though, that such a time won’t be good enough to win the title. “The winning time could be at around 3:37 but you never know. For me, I’m going there just to run my race. I never try to chase anyone, I will simply run my own race.” As we all know...if everything clicks for Charne you never know what might happen. Stay tuned... (03/24/2018) Views: 2,093 ⚡AMP
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It Took Jessica Stabnau Five Years to Get Into The Two Oceans Ultra

The world’s most beautiful marathon takes place on a challenging route, with spectacular scenery, breath taking views of clear blue oceans, majestic mountains and enthusiastic supporters. This is Cape Town, South Africa Two Oceans Ultra...Jessica Stabnau from Montana will be running Easter Sunday. The Two Oceans marathon came to her attention after one of her South African bar patrons told her about it. Being able to participate in the race has been a long time coming, as she's waited about five years for the right timing. Stabnau is also speech therapist at two elementary schools in Missoula and she needs to schedule trips around her busy days. "The last time it coincided with my spring break, I didn't get on to register in time," Stabnau said. "I got on the website the next morning and it was already booked." This time around, Stabnau wasn't going to take any chances. "I had to wake up at 2AM, which was 10 o'clock Cape Town time," Stabnau said. "It took me two hours to get through the registration process but I got in." This will be Stabnau's second ultra-marathon. (03/21/2018) Views: 2,201 ⚡AMP
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