South Africa 15 September: Capetown

Capetown Peace Marathon

In Capetown, 6:00 am, the Sri Chinmoy Oness-Home Peace Torch was brought to the start of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Africa’s only IAAF Gold label status marathon. It was lit by Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South African rugby team that won the 1995 Rugby World cup and which helped unite a nation. Appropriately, the Cape Town Marathon has been designated a Peace Marathon with a number of events that have been dedicated to the promotion of peace.

As a symbol of peace the torch was first carried by Francois and then handed over to Elana Meyer, another South African sporting great who won an Olympic silver medal for the 10000 metres in the 1992 games.

The torch was then held high at the start of the marathon and broadcast across the nation on national TV (SABC).

Some of the 9500 participants eagerly awaiting the 6:40 am marathon start.

The runners are off, hoping to run a good race and achieve new personal bests on this fast flat course through picturesque and historical areas of Capetown, known as the 'Mother city' .

Peace runners Tafadzwa, Shree and Penny enjoying the view from the VIP stands. Shree and Penny were also waiting in anticipation for their own 10 km run, along with fellow peace runner Didi, that would start in just 20 mins. Meanwhile, Peace Run team member Cliff flashes past the peace runners above as he speeds off on his marathon adventure. Cliff is one of the most experienced runners in the Southern African Peace Run team. He has completed more than 15 ultramarathons, including 3 Comrades marathons. This will be the third time that Cliff has run the Cape Town Peace Marathon.

Elana Meyer, along with peace runners (Abhijatri,Tafadzwa and Shree), carrying the Peace Torch to the 10km start line.

The Peace Torch arrived at the 10km start safely and was shining as bright as ever.

The 10km race started with a bang and very soon the front runners were blazing past in a blur.

Francois Pienaar holding the Peace Torch and posing with peace runners Danielle, also known as Didi, and Penny after their very successful 10km run.

Tafadzwa holding the torch with fellow Zimbabweans Fortunate Chidzivo (1st place 10km) and Rutendo Nyahora (3rd place 10km)

Daniel Plato, the Executive Mayor of Capetown, holding the Peace Torch with Abhijatri in the VIP tent.

Runners, supporters, helpers and organisers alike getting their chance to hold the Peace Torch.

City of Cape Town Alderman JP Smith (left), Councillor Nicola Jowell (centre) and Excecutive Mayor Daniel Plato with the torch.

By coincidence or serendipity, we met this runner for the second time in as many days after meeting him on our ascent of Table Mountain the previous day. He asked if we remember him and we were very glad to be able to say that we did.

Long time friend of Abhijatri, Jan Appelgryn and his daughter Hannah-Marie, also take a moment to hold the torch.

Francois Pienaar, Anton Geldenhuys (Sanlam) and his son with the torch.

10km womens podium finishers, Fortunate Chidzivo (32:26), Kesa Molotsane (33:30) (left) and Rutendo Nyahora (33:50) (right).

10km mens podium finishers, Lesiba Precious Mashele (28:36), Mbuleli Mathanga (28:40) (left), Desmond Mokgobu (28:48) (right).

First and second women's South African finishers, Annie Bothma (2:41:44) (right) and Cornelia Joubert (2:43:21).

Francois Pienaar and Elana Meyer with first and second South African men's finishers, Elroy Gelant (02:10:31) (right) and Sibusiso Nzima (02:13:41) (left).

Elana Meyer holding the peace torch at the marathon podium with the women's marathon winners, Celestine Chepchirchir (2:26:44) , Nurit Shimels Yimam (2:27:40) (left) and Gete Mindaye Tilahun (02:28:32) (right).

Celestine Chepchirchir holding the Peace Torch on the podium.

Francois Pienaar and Elana Meyer with the mens marathon winners, Edwin Kibet Koech (02:09:20), Daniel Muindi Muteti (02:09:25) and Mohamed Ziani (02:09:29).

The Capetown Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run team enjoying a coastal stop on their way to their next destination, Port Elizabeth.
Left to right, Florbela (having just arrived from Portugal), Penny, Clifford, Shree, Tafadzwa, Abhijatri and Balarka.

The Capetown route towards Port Elizabeth forms part of the famous 'Garden Route' with many beautiful varied vistas along the way as the ocean at times meets a mountainous coastline.

A quick stop at Hermanus where it is whale season! The whales come close to the shore to nurture their young and are very visible by just walking down to the bottom of the bay.

A Southern Right Whale emerging above the water with distinctive callosities on its back.

A Hermanus seagull enjoying the sun.

Selfie time on this peaceful coastline!

Hmmm.... now where did those whales go?

A beautiful sunset, at our campsite, as we stop our journey to Port Elizabeth for the day.

Clifford, Penny and Florbela eagerly waiting for the last parts of dinner to arrive

Is the toast ready yet? We have another big day tomorrow!!