Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon History | 2010's
Saturday 3 April saw the running of the 41st Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in ideal running conditions. The race was yet another special one drawing a record field of just over 20 000 participants. We were honoured to have the Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato, start both races on Easter Saturday and to share the day with us.
2010 was a watershed year for South Africa and saw the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup. Coupled with this, road running enjoyed a boom with participation figures on the increase across the country over all distances. The 56km ultra event had 2 000 more participants than last year and was one of biggest field in the event’s history. Of the 8 831 ultra runners, 30% of them ran it for the first time.
The race started in cool conditions, with a slight drizzle sifting down from the grey clouds enveloping Table Mountain. These perfect running conditions saw a foreign brigade once again dominate the ultra, taking the top 9 positions and producing a titanic duel between three Lesotho runners. Lesotho athlete Mabuthile Lebopo led home the foreign-laden top 10 in 3:06:18, the fastest winning time since 2005. The tiny mountain country of Lesotho, which is entirely enclosed by South Africa, filled the first three positions and had five runners in the first ten.
Olesya Nurgalieva took the honours in the woman's race in 3:41:53, with her twin sister Elena settling for second spot just over 100 metres adrift in 3:42:19. Although this was the twins' slowest win and Olesya's second victory, the pair have never finished lower than fourth over a seven year period, highlighting the dominance they have in the event. Only two runners not named Nurgalieva have won in the past seven years.
Lushapo April won the half marathon edging out Kalvin Pangiso on the run into the UCT field to take the tape in 1:03:54. Zimbabwean, Pangiso was only 30 metres adrift at the tape in a race that saw the top six athletes dip under 65 minutes. In the women’s half marathon, René Kalmer broke the course record by 37 seconds with her 72:39, but she was chased hard by Irvette van Blerk, who finished only 16 seconds behind.
2010 saw the introduction of a trail run to further enhance the event and make it a fully inclusive festival of running. Runners could choose either an 8 or 18km and the interest was overwhelming. Entries were limited to 400 in each distance and both were sold out within a few weeks of entries opening.
The 2011 event saw a record field of close to 23 000 runners line up on Easter Saturday for the ultra and half marathon in perfect running weather. 14 147 runners took part in the half marathon, making it the biggest field in the event’s history and in South Africa, with the ultra attracting 8 645 entries. This truly Capetonian event attracted over 30 000 participants across all the different events.
George Ntshiliza became the first South African ultra winner since 2007, when he sprinted to the closest finish in years and a cheque for R250 000. He ended a run of three victories by other African countries, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Lesotho respectively, as he crossed the finish line at UCT in 3:08:31 after 56 thrilling kilometres. In the women’s race the Nurgalieva twins from Russia dominated yet again, with Olesya winning her third Two Oceans title to go with her wins in 2008 and 2010, plus a cheque for R250 000. She and sister Elena now have three wins apiece.
This year Lusapho April defended his men’s half marathon title in 1:03:58, and Helalia Johannes of Namibia held off South Africa’s Irvette van Blerk by eight seconds to win the women’s race in a new course record of 1:11:56.
The trail run on Good Friday morning saw just over 1 000 runners take on a tough, challenging 22km or 10km on the mountain trails of Devil’s Peak and Newlands Forest above the University of Cape Town (UCT). In only its second year, the trail event sold all 1 000 entries in just 23 hours of entries opening and the 14 000 entry slots for the 21km were sold out in just two months, with the last 2 000 entries snapped up in just 36 hours!
This year’s fun runs on Good Friday attracted close to 4 800 participants over the various distances, which included a 56m nappy dash for kids, 300m toddlers’ trot, 2.5km and 5km fun runs. These fun runs are all about family and giving people a chance to experience the amazing event spirit.
Close to 1 000 international participants gathered at the V&A Waterfront for the International Friendship Run (IFR) – a scenic 5km run/walk through Cape Town, past some of the City’s famous landmarks that included the Cape Town Stadium, Sea Point Promenade, Green Point Park and Mouille Point Lighthouse.
Runners from all over the world got into the event spirit with their family and friends, jogging with the flags from their various countries. They were treated to the warm South African hospitality and got to see what makes this city so special.
Just over 1 300 runners came from outside South Africa’s borders to take part in either the ultra or half marathon, with 77 different countries represented. This year the United Kingdom sent the biggest contingent of runners, with Germany and the United States also well represented.
2011 saw the successful introduction of RaceTec, the event’s new electronic timing partner who will be on board for the next five years. This brings two iconic Cape Town events together as RaceTec is owned and managed by Cape Town Cycle Tour and used at many mass timed events around the country.
A strategic decision was also taken by the Two Oceans Marathon Association (TOMA) to bring the IT component in-house, resulting in a comprehensive IT system rewrite and a new, more user-friendly online entry system.
An overhauled and improved medical plan was introduced for this year’s event, with Netcare 911, the medical sponsor working very closely with the Western Cape Provincial Government Emergency Metro Services to ensure that all the participants received the best possible medical attention and care during the event.
Diarise 7 April 2012 for the 43rd running of the world’s most beautiful marathon…see you there!