Numerous charity organisations will be among the beneficiaries of this year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, with organisers aiming to raise over R1 million for charitable initiatives. The annual race weekend, which takes place from Friday 16 September to Sunday 18 September 2016, continues to attract increased interest from amateur runners and elite athletes from across the continent and around the world.
After R700 000 was raised for charity last year, race ambassador Elana Meyer urged entrants to capitalise on their participation in the 42.2km IAAF Silver Label endurance event by running for a cause.According to Meyer, a former elite athlete who competed at major road races in Europe, Asia and the United States during her career, various fundraising platforms can be used by runners to leverage support for their chosen charity, such as the GivenGain website.
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Says Meyer, “Running for a cause gives you a real incentive to complete a marathon, and it’s very rewarding. I encourage all those taking part in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon to take up the initiative and make a difference.”
One runner for a cause is Cheryl Hile, who is raising awareness around multiple sclerosis (MS). Hile, a veteran American athlete who was diagnosed with the disease in 2006, aims to become the first person with MS to complete seven marathons on seven continents in 12 months. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, which will launch Hile’s year-long challenge, will be her 50th race over the classic 42.2km distance. “I am definitely not lowering my expectations, and by doing this I hope to inspire people never to lower theirs. I want to encourage others, with or without MS, that they should do what they can and never give up,” she told crowdfunding site crowdrise.com.
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has two official charities: Endurocad, a distance running and endurance sports academy based in the Western Cape, which offers a national programme focusing on the development of elite athletes; and the Western Province Athletics (WPA) Kids Athletics Development Programme, which introduces young children to athletics in a fun, accessible and instructive way.
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Sure Forge, general manager of race partner WPA, says the provincial body’s partnership with the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will help with the integration of more young athletes, adding to a group of more than 300 kids who are already involved. “Through our kids’ development programme we’re able to achieve our objectives of not only building athletic ability, but finding ways to positively impact on young lives while capturing the spirit and love of athletics,” she says. “We thank the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon for assisting WPA in addressing sporting and developmental challenges.”
In addition to these two main beneficiaries, there are 24 charities associated with the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, supporting a variety of causes, from health, community and education, to the environment, wildlife and women's rights.
At this year's race, runners will have an opportunity to not only #ChallengeYourself and #ChallengeAfriend, but do so for worthy causes that need support.
Find more information on charities associated with the weekend running festival at www.capetownmarathon.com
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is made possible by a partnership between WPA, the City of Cape Town and ASEM Running.
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