The Peace Torch was once again a prominent part of this year's Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. Although the dream of lighting the Torch inside Mr Mandela's cell on Robben Island before carrying it from there to the start of the marathon was not realised this year, Mr Mandela's spirit of oneness and unity was strong throughout all aspects of the Cape Town Marathon event. Mr Mandela held the Peace Torch on 20 September 1998 in New York at a private meeting with Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the Peace Run. Their conversation went as follows:
Sri Chinmoy: May I request you to bless our Peace Torch that goes all over the world? This is our Peace Torch that covers more than 70 countries. It is our prayerful Peace Torch that goes all over the world with the message of prayerful peace. This is what we have been trying to do for the last ten years.
President Mandela: (holding the Peace Torch): That is so important. We are with you in upholding peace, which brings solace to many people throughout the world. It doesn't matter what language they speak. They appreciate peace. I think peace is one of the things that is going to save the world. Thank you, thank you very much. Well, thank you, all of you.
The Cape Town Marathon is the only IAAF "Gold Label" marathon in Africa and is also the largest marathon on the African Continent. The day of the marathon dawned bright and clear and the event officially commenced with Francois Pienaar, a South African rugby legend who captained the Springbok national team to World Cup victory in 1995, lighting the torch prior to leading a small procession to the marathon start.