One of the most unique road-running experiences in Cape Town is back.
The Chapman’s Peak Half Marathon has had its fair share of troubles over the years, mostly over a lack of sponsors and wriggling through red tape to get roads closed.
Race organiser Richard Sutton, from the Hout Bay Harriers Running Club, said the major challenge had been getting the nod from the right departments in order for the race to go ahead on Sunday October 13.
“Our only major challenge is dealing with the authorities to get permission to use the road and the costs associated with the road closure have had a major negative impact on our race budget,” he said.
The race started as a 28km run from the Hout Bay to Noordhoek beaches in the 1980s, before changing to a 21km in 1999.
But roadworks on Chapman’s Peak Drive saw the race removed from the calendar.
Then, in 2013, the race returned, organised by the Hout Bay Harriers.
“We nearly had to cancel in 2013 as we did not have a sponsor, but Hout Bay Spar stepped in to support us,” Mr Sutton said.
This year’s race profits will be used to support future generations of road runners from Imizamo Yethu.
Mr Sutton said proceeds would go towards the cost of running kits, licences and race entries for more than 15 runners annually.
“Many of these runners will be able to run the Comrades Marathon and all the costs, including transport and accommodation will be paid for by the club.”
Runners are also able to make a donation towards the NSRI and the Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation.
In 2017, the marathon drew nearly 2 000 runners, and the organisers hope to eclipse that number and transform the race into the “best 21km in the country”. “To do this, we need to offer runners the best experience possible. Unfortunately, our race budget this year is under pressure due to quite a few unforeseen expenses, but we will still put on a great race,” Mr Sutton said.
Elrico Swartz from Hout Bay was one of the runners back in 2017.
“It really is a very unique experience, running on a road heavily used by motor vehicles and along the sea. This race has so much potential and could easily become one of the major events in Cape Town,” he said.
Leona Lawson, from Noordhoek was also excited to hear the marathon had returned.
“Running in such breathtaking scenery, it’s exciting and I simply cannot wait,” she said.
In 2017, the race organisers did away with plastic water sachets at the refreshments tables. This year they are looking to close the road for all cars and bikes.
“The runners are going to be able to experience Chapman’s Peak Drive at its finest, without any bother from motorists or cyclists. It is a privilege for runners to experience running on Chapman’s Peak,” Mr Sutton said.
If you wish to take part in this year’s Chapman’s Peak Marathon, register at www.chapmanspeakhalf.co.za