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Olympic star Mo Farah announced as ambassador for virtual CT Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon, which also includes the 5km and 10km Peace Runs and newly-added half marathon, takes place on 18 October 2020.

Britain's Mo Farah speaks during a press conference following a photocall for the London marathon at Tower Bridge in central London on 24 April 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Race organisers and running enthusiasts are getting ready for a race with a difference, as the 100-day countdown to the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon commences on 10 July.

Much has happened since the launch of the virtual event and subsequent cancellation of the traditional race due to COVID-19. And while Sanlam Cape Town Marathon participants may miss out on the spectacle and celebration offered by the road event, the virtual race promises to take all the iconic elements of Cape Town’s favourite marathon to its global participant base through the race’s custom-built and feature-packed app.

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon chairperson, Francois Pienaar, said that it was a privilege to host the first virtual race of its kind in the world.

"We are already in the spotlight as the only race on the African continent to enjoy the prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Status, so I am really proud that the world’s first truly immersive virtual marathon comes from South Africa and Africa.

"I am also thrilled to confirm that world champ, multiple Olympian, gold medalist and world record holder, Sir Mo Farah, will race in the 10km Virtual Peace Run in the UK. His participation is a huge boost for the virtual race and shows that anyone can run the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon, no matter where you are," he said.

In a virtual media briefing held on Thursday, Farah said that he was looking forward to the event.

“We are all in this together, it's not just one country or one person so we just have to stay positive and keep the body ticking. It’s important for everyone running that they give it their best because there is a lot that goes into running, so just make the most of it and believe in the training you’ve done and the goal that you’ve set," he said.

"The challenges of 2020 became the catalyst for innovation and we are 100 days away from hosting a virtual race the world hasn’t seen before," added Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race director, Renee Jordaan.

"This year, runners from across the globe can experience the magic of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon without having to travel, while the dynamic surround sound feature within the app will allow participants to listen to the unique sounds of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon route while treading the familiar ground of their chosen race route," she said.

The Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon, which also includes the 5km and 10km Peace Runs and newly-added half marathon, takes place on 18 October 2020.

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