Ethiopian long-distance runner Meseret Biru ran to victory in the Sanlam Cape Town 42,2km Marathon in a time of 2h30m56s against the panoramic backdrop of Table Mountain and Signal Hill on a sunny and windless spring morning on Sunday, 21 September, 2014.
The first South African finisher was Zintle Xiniwe in sixth place, finishing in a time of 2h41m49s, while Perry Beningfield reported on Twitter that highly-rated SA contender Irvette van Zyl had to withdraw from the field after a promising start, owing to an injury picked up running a marathon three weeks prior.
@wesbotton a marathon she ran three weeks ago after the 10 km race a day before affected her knee that forced her out of Cape Town marathon
— Perry Beningfield SC (@beningfield) September 21, 2014
In a race dominated by Ethiopians, the only other South African to record a top-10 finish was Paulina Njeya, in a time of 2h46m51s for eighth place.
Endorsed by international running icon Elana Meyer, the classic 42.2km marathon was the central focus of a festival of running through Africa’s Mother City, which included a 10km Peace Run, a 4.2km Peace Fun Run, a 22km and 11km Peace Trail Run.
The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon three-day festival of running, which kicked off on Friday, attracted over 12 000 participants from around the globe, including the most Gold Label-status elite marathon runners ever seen at a sports event in South Africa.
Taking place on the United Nations’ International Day of Peace for this year, the event will benefit Peace & Sport (L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport), a global initiative under the patronage of Prince Albert of Monaco that uses sport to educate young people affected by extreme poverty, recent conflict or a lack of social cohesion, as well as other charities including Endurocad, The Children’s Hospital Trust, The Sunflower Fund, the Cancer Association of South Africa, Pink Drive, the Anna Foundation, Eduvate, MAD Charity, the JAG Foundation, the WWF, Community Chest and Rotary Newlands.
Sunday’s classic Olympian 42,2km marathon formed part of an application to become Africa’s first IAAF-classified sports event, with the long-term aim of becoming a World Marathon Major event.
“Cape Town can be proud of its city marathon, which is well on its way to placing the Mother City and our continent on the global stage of running,” said Ms. Yegs Ramiah, Chief Executive for Sanlam Brand, the headline sponsor of the event, in partnership with Western Province Athletics (WPA), Asem Running and the City of Cape Town.
“The marathon is about more than just people running,” Ramiah continued. “It’s also about the community, the supporters, families and friends who woke early to encourage the runners through the streets of this wonderful city.”
Ramiah commented that events such as the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon have a direct economic impact on the local community, boosting not only tourism and business, but also the social welfare and lives of those less fortunate.
Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Top 10 Ladies’ Open Results on Sunday, 21 September, 2014:
- Meseret Biru (Ethiopia) 2h30m56s
- Goitetom Haftu Tesema (Ethiopia) 2h31m55s
- Beatrice Toroitich Jepkemboi (Kenya) 2h33m16s
- Amelework Fikadu Bosho (Ethiopia) 2h36m12s
- Melka Mulu (Ethiopia) 2h37m47s
- Zintle Xiniwe (South Africa) 2h41m49s
- Alemtsehay Kakissa (Ethiopia) 2h42m45s
- Paulina Njeya (South Africa) 2h46m51s
- Thabita Tsatsa (Zimbabwe) 2h48m29s
- Lineo Chaka (Lesotho) 2h49m41s
Photo 1 caption: Ethiopian long-distance runner Meseret Biru ran to victory in the Sanlam Cape Town 42,2km Marathon in a time of 2h30m56s on Sunday, 21 September, 2014. Zintle Xiniwe was the best-placed SA finisher in 6th place, with Paulina Njeya in eighth, after the top-rated Irvette van Zyl suffered a injury-enforced withdrawal. Photo: Supplied
(With editing by gsport)