Ethiopian Adane Kebede Gebre goes through the finish tape at the 2023 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

On the road the to the majors

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon took a giant leap towards being an Abbott World Marathon Majors event, successfully hosting a thrilling elite’s race.

Ethiopians Adane Kebede Gebre and Tsige Haileslase Abreha stormed to victory in the men’s and women’s elite races with a finish outside the Green Point Athletics Stadium on 15 October 2023.

Kebede Gebre crossed the finish line 6 seconds ahead of two-time Cape Town Marathon champion Stephen Mokoka.

“I’m very happy to take the win,” Kebede Gebre said.

“The race was really very good and I enjoyed both it and my time in Cape Town. We’ve been welcomed by the city so well and have enjoyed incredible hospitality.”

Fellow countrywoman Haileslase Abreha, completed an all-Ethiopian podium along with second-placed Melesech Tsegaye Beyene and Shewarge Alene Amare who powered through to third.

“We’re really happy to be here in Cape Town, showing the training we put in with the top Ethiopian team,” Alene Amare said.

“The race was very hard and windy. But they’re happy to have taken first, second and third. We’ll definitely keep coming back to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon if the race keeps inviting us.”

Along with the elite men’s and women’s race the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon also hosted the second edition of the elite wheelchair race. The men’s event was dominated by the Netherland’s Geert Schipper who took a commanding victory, by over 10 minutes.

Great Britan’s Eden Rainbow-Cooper broke the tape first in the women’s wheelchair race winning by 5 minutes.

A Major Goal

In its second year of candidacy to towards being Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon attracted 18 000 runners for the 2023 edition.

This was a 6 000 increase from the 2022 race.

Cape Town is looking to join New York, Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin and Chicago as destination city for an elite group of races in 2025.

The marathon completed the second of its three-year evaluation process this year with the final assessment set down for the 2024 race.

It is expected that hosting Africa’s first ever Abbott World Marathon Majors would have a significant boost to Cape Town’s economy and tourism sector.

“This is a wonderful event for our city. More than 18 000 runners from around the world have come here to experience the Mother City and run here. We also know that this marathon is on its way to becoming a world major which has the City’s full support. It means tens of thousands more visitors to our city and lots more investment to the local economy,” said Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The race already holds the title of Africa’s only World Athletics Label Status event.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon returns on 20 October 2024.

Ethiopian Adane Kebede Gebre goes through the finish tape at the 2023 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon
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