Men and women running on road in Cape Town with view of Table Mountain


The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, now in its 18th glorious lap, is on the road to rubbing shoulders with six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world.

As Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate, the prestigious event has grown exponentially, attracting elite runners and enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.

In 2023, The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon achieved a personal best, bringing its participants the best version yet of the event.

While it may not have secured the ultimate goal of passing Stage One in the Abbott World Marathon Majors assessment, the event achieved its first-ever sell-out, with a 40% increase in entries led by the running community rallying together behind the #YouDoCount campaign.

Chief Executive Officer of Abbott World Marathon Majors, Dawn Stone, attended last year and was inspired by Cape Town’s unique atmosphere and incredible vibe on race day.

“Cape Town has something special, and the race took huge strides towards the standards we want them to meet,” Stone acknowledges. “It is a challenge for any race to get to that level, and we know the team has learned from their 2023 assessment and is making the appropriate improvements to help ensure they pass the criteria going forward. I am excited to see them strive for that pass mark in 2024.”

This left the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon team hungry for more. Hungry to bring Africa her first Major event.

2023 Cape Town Marathon Medal


In order to become a Major, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be required to meet certain criteria for three years.

If successful, the event will join an elite group of races – Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW-BERLIN Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon – as a new member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2025.

After falling short in its candidacy in 2023, the following improvements are required to meet the criteria so the 2024 edition may hit the mark:

  • Bigger kilometer markers, better race village signage, barriers instead of cones separating runners and traffic, as well as clocks every 5 kilometers.
  • More spectators in Woodstock and Salt River – so Vibe Squads, pull up and bring the GEES to make this the vibey-est part yet
  • Reducing the number of parked cars along the route – specifically along Beach Road and the Sea Point section of the route.
  • Attaining a higher quality elite field with gold and platinum-level elites to our start line.

As the marathon edges closer to potentially joining the ranks of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, excitement within the running community continues to build.

This inclusion would not only elevate the status of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon but also shine a spotlight on Cape Town’s rich athletic heritage and its contribution to the global running scene.

Race you to the 2024 finish line!

Entries are still open – Sign up for the 2024 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon here.

Men and women running on road in Cape Town with view of Table Mountain
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