The 26th edition of the annual Soweto Marathon is set to see runners take to the streets on Sunday, 3 November 2019. Officially starting at 05:30, the event is expected to draw tens of thousands of participants in the 42.2-kilometre, half marathon and 10-kilometre races.
The Soweto Marathon is fast becoming one of the most popular races in the country, and provides a uniquely challenging course to runners, traversing a route that is about 50 percent hilly. Even the buses driving along this route have difficulty climbing the steep inclines, and Joburg’s recent hot weather should also make this race a challenge – even to experienced athletes.
It remains to be seen who among these runners will take the title this year, after Lesotho’s Tshepo Mathibelle took the honours last year. The 2018 women’s champion and local Irvette Van Zyl will defend her title at this year’s event, following her recovery from a nagging injury and a recent third place in the Johannesburg leg of the Spar Women’s 10km Grand Prix Series.
The Soweto marathon is unique in the sense that it provides a cultural and historic experience to participants, in addition to the technical challenges of a world-class race. Athletes will run on Vilakazi Street, on which the houses of two South African Nobel Prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. In addition, runners will also pass by Regina Mundi Church and the Hector Petersen Memorial.
Presuming the Boks lift the William Web Ellis Cup on Saturday, this patriotic running event could be even more special this year, and the race is sure to leave both its local and international participants with a feeling of pride and accomplishment.
Tifosi Sports will also be at the Soweto Marathon this year – keep an eye out for our stall and information on the latest top running gear, shoes and accessories.