The Running Mann’s Guide to February Marathons

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This article provides detailed information on all South Africa’s February marathons including race descriptions, recommendations and travel information.

Marathon running is in full swing in February and those who still need to run a qualifier have 24 great options to choose from all around the country. Unqualified Two Oceans runners should be looking to get a marathon under the belt so that there is no pressure for the 18th of March cut-off. 

There is something for everyone – although big marathons like the Witness Maritzburg City, Jeppe, Deloitte Pretoria and Cape Peninsula dominate the calendar, it’s the small ones that grab my attention. The Zelco Motor Spitskop and Beaufort West Municipality marathons are what I believe the two smallest qualifier marathons in the country with nine and ten 2018 finishers respectively.

Summary

A summary of your choices is below:

Click to view a larger version.

Note to the reader: I am aiming to publish a monthly article detailing all the marathons and ultras on the South African running calendar which can be used a definitive resource for the discerning marathon runner when picking their qualifiers and planning running holidays. Let me know if you have anything to add!

Recommended Runs

For a fast time (those chasing a seeding): My pick here is the Witness Maritzburg City Marathon – the race that more runners use as their qualifier than any other.

For a good time (marathons packed with personality): TWK Assegaai Marathon. A great marathon near the Swazi border – I loved this race in 2018 and I’m sure you will have a great run there in 2019.

For a special time (hard to get to races that all ‘real’ runners should do at least once): The Zelco Motors Spitskop and Beaufort West Municipality marathons.

For the first time (for those about to lose their marathon running virginity): I am going to go with a controversial pick here – the Bay Ultra 50k. Why on earth would you start your marathon running career with an ultra? The Bay Ultra gives you an official time at the marathon mark, enabling you to “save game” just in case you do duff out over the last 8km along the coastline. However, the main reason is that you can respond to  every innocuous boast from your friends and rivals with, “That’s nothing, my first marathon was an ultra.”*

* This is also a great way to steer boring conversations (on any topic) to a much more exciting conversation about running.

What I’ll be running this year: The Meerkat, Klerksdorp, Bestmed Tuks and Richards Bay Hippo marathons.

Detailed Information

All race information, links, flyers and travel guidance* verified with race organisers (unless otherwise noted).

* For practical reasons, all directions are from central Johannesburg as (1) the majority of runners are Gauteng based, (2) I live in Johannesburg and (3) whilst all roads might lead to Rome, all roads in South Africa lead away from Johannesburg!

Vodacom Meerkat Marathon

Runners head out through the historic Kimberley streets during the Meerkat Marathon (photo supplied).
Race Date Saturday 02 February 2019
Start Venue Bishops Old Boys Club, Powell Street, Kimberley
Route Type Circular
Website https://www.facebook.com/groups/61393108799/
Contact Details kbyroadrunners@gmail.com
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries https://www.webtickets.co.za/events/best-sellers/vodacom-meerkat-marathon/1485811556
Pre-entries Close 30 January 2019
Title Sponsor Vodacom
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 170
Extras? Goodie bags; Hamburger at finish; R20k Diamond lucky draw
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 97
Race Description The circular route provides a great on foot tour of some of Kimberley’s historic sites like the Big Hole, Rhodes Memorial (with canons and other artefacts from the Anglo Boer War), the Northern Cape houses of parliament and the Star of the West (the oldest pub in South Africa). The route also traverses through the local township of Galeshewe and promises a carnival-like atmosphere at the finish line where all participants enjoy a complimentary hamburger.
Why Run It? Have a beer at the oldest pub in South Africa – the Star of the West – before, after or during or your marathon . If your legs are too tired after the race, you can always try the Halfway House – the first drive-in pub in South Africa.
How To Get There? 500km (5h) drive or 1h flight (approx R2,000 return)
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B options
What Else To Do There? Go digging for diamonds at the ‘Big Hole’ complex; Check out the historic battlefields as well as various memorials and museums; Have a beer at the Star of the West – the oldest pub in South Africa. There are also a few game viewing options within close driving distance.
Race Flyer  MEERKAT Marathon FLYER

Sasol Sasolburg Marathon

One of the great tables at the Sasolburg Marathon (photo supplied).
Race Date Saturday 02 February 2019
Start Venue DP de Villiers Stadium, Sasolburg
Route Type Double-lapper
Website https://www.facebook.com/events/505021943349919/
Contact Details sasolburgathletics@gmail.com; miekiegrobler5@gmail.com; haigf@cwi-wire.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10\5
Online Entries https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5790
Pre-entries Close 20 January 2019
Title Sponsor Sasol
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 160
Extras? Shirt
Late Entries? Yes (Late entries are R180)
# of 2018 Finishers 840
Race Description Obtuse, acute, right: Regardless of which angle you look at the Vaal Triangle from, you are in for a hot run through flat industrial landscapes. However, the people of the Vaal Triangle are proud of their towns, so much so that they all make you run around them twice.
Sasolburg, founded in 1954 as a housing project for the local Sasol petroleum refinery (and the bottom point of the Vaal Triangle), is no exception: A fast and flat marathon that gives you a two-lap tour of the town. However, the race organisers have some mercy on their runners and ensure that there is plenty of shade along the way – and what the area lacks in natural beauty they make up for with some spectacular waterpoints.
Why Run It? Highly recommend as a qualifier. The runner numbers are just enough to give you company and support without being congested. Sasolburg is just over the ‘border’ – so this is the easiest way for Gauteng runners to add a Free State marathon to the running CV.
How To Get There? 80km (1h) drive along the N1 or R59.
Accommodation Options Drive through in the morning or check out Google options.
What Else To Do There? Spend the afternoon enjoying activities and water sports on and along the Vaal River.
Race Flyer  Sasol Marathon 2019 flyer final

Izimbiwa Coal Marathon

 

Race Date Saturday 02 February 2019
Start Venue Shanduka Coal, Izimbiwa Central Office, Middelburg
Route Type Double-lapper
Website https://www.facebook.com/events/628272040935571/
Contact Details admin@midmk.co.za
Distance Options 42\32\21\15\10
Online Entries https://secure.onreg.com/onreg2/front/step1.php?id=4410
Pre-entries Close ?
Title Sponsor Glencore Izimbiwa Coal
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 140
Extras? Shirt
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 150
Race Description The race promises to be an early season fitness tester that offers some of the finest views of Middelburg.
Why Run It? Proceeds from the race are channelled back into the local community.
How To Get There? 160km (1h45) drive using N12 or N4.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B options
What Else To Do There? https://middelburginfo.co.za/
Race Flyer  Izimbiwa-5-in-1-Flyer-2018

Amobia Bay Ultra Marathon

Start the Bay Ultra with a sunrise over the Indian Oceans and finish with 20km along pristine Eastern Cape coastline (photos supplied).
Race Date Saturday 09 February 2019
Start Venue Pollok Beach, Summerstrand
Route Type Circular
Website https://www.bayultra.co.za/
Contact Details info@bayultra.co.za
Distance Options 50\21\5
Online Entries https://www.easyreg.co.za/select_registration_type?event_id=203
Pre-entries Close 28 January 2019
Title Sponsor Amobia
Perm Numbers? Yes (10th finish)
Entry Fee R 180
Extras? Peak Cap
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 368
Race Description The people of PE don’t muck around, skipping the standard marathons and starting their running year off with an ultra. This was one of my favourite races from 2018 – a lovely 50km route with plenty of climbing over the first half before you drop back to sea level and a 20km Marine Drive finish along pristine Eastern Cape coastline. Running in Port Elizabeth is always a treat – you’ll definitely get to experience the ‘Friendly City’ – but hopefully you’ll get a gentle sea-breeze and avoid experiencing the ‘Windy City’.
Why Run It? See a magnificent sunrise over the Indian Ocean whilst taking in the first ultra on the South African running calendar. Aspirant IronMen (and Women) can also get acquainted with Summerstrand, which also plays host to the South African leg of the IronMan.
How To Get There? 1050km (11h) drive or a 1h30 flight (you can normally find a return for about R1,500).
Accommodation Options There are a number of great hotels along the promenade for various budgets including The Boardwalk Hotel and Casino, The Radisson Blu Hotel, The Garden Court Hotel and the Courtyard Hotel. There are also well priced B&B options a short drive from the beach.
What Else To Do There? The Eastern Cape brands itself is ‘the adventure capital of South Africa’. Activities include big 5 game viewing, the longest zipline in SA, great blue flag beaches and sand boarding. Port Elizabeth has earned the nickname, ‘The Friendly City’ for its incredible hospitality.
Race Flyer  Bay Ultra Flyer Entry 2019 A4 folded A5

Detailed race report: Bay Ultra (See the Lighthouse at the End of an Ultra)

Oasis Hotel Potties Marathon

Enjoy the best of town and country at the Potties Marathon.
Race Date Saturday 09 February 2019
Start Venue Mokopane Primary School, Beyer street, Mokopane
Route Type Double-lapper
Website https://www.facebook.com/events/1813997192044565/
Contact Details ntsakoaubrey@icloud.com / 076 422 4486
Distance Options 42\32\21\10\5
Online Entries None
Pre-entries Close N/A
Title Sponsor Oasis Hotels
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 150
Extras? Goodie bag
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 145
Race Description An interesting double-lapper (you don’t get too many of those) on a flat route that includes a bit of dirt road running along some game farms. If you like experiencing town and country on the same run this is a good one to do. I always thought this race was in Potchefstroom but it takes its name from the former name of Mokopane – Potgietersrus – which was the town’s name when the race started.
Why Run It? A fast and friendly marathon that boasts being “the cheapest race in the north” – and your entry fee also includes a great goodie bag.
How To Get There? 270km (2h30) drive due north on the N1
Accommodation Options www.oasishotel.co.za 015 491 4124
What Else To Do There? http://www.discoversouthafrica.co.za/leisure/mokopane-tourism/
Race Flyer  

Detailed race report: Potties Marathon Photies (A Pictorial Report from the South African Bushveld)

Zelco Motors Spitskop Marathon

Spitskop Marathon is run entirely through a game reserve (photo supplied).
Race Date Saturday 09 February 2019
Start Venue Spitskop Nature Reserve, Upington
Route Type Double-lapper
Website http://upingtoncrusaders.co.za
Contact Details CIBurger@landbank.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries http://upingtoncrusaders.co.za/spitskop-challenge/
Pre-entries Close 01 February 2019
Title Sponsor Zelco Motors
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 100
Extras? Hotdog & beer at finish line
Late Entries? Yes (Late entries are R200)
# of 2018 Finishers 9
Race Description A relatively easy double-lap marathon with one major hill (around the 17/38km mark). The entire route is run on a game farm in the Kalahari Desert offering spectacular views and an opportunity to run one of only two marathons in Upington (and the North Western Cape Athletics region). Enjoy a complimentary hot dog and a beer after you’ve conquered a marathon in the Kalahari Desert.
Why Run It? Together with the John Nugent (Upington’s other marathon), this is officially the hardest marathon to get to in the country: A 9-hour+ drive from all South Africa’s major cities or a very expensive once-a-day flight on SA Airlink. However, if you want to say you’ve run all over South Africa you need to notch up a marathon in all 19 athletics provinces – and this is the perfect opportunity to do so in the North Western Cape region.
How To Get There? 800km (8-9h drive) or very expensive 1h30 flight (over R6,000)
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B options
What Else To Do There? Sample the local wines at Orange River Cellars followed by a sunset cruise on the Orange River. The spectacular Augrabies Water Falls (and national park) are just 120km away.
Race Flyer TBC

Klerksdorp Marathon

Photo supplied
Race Date Saturday 09 February 2019
Start Venue Hoerskool Wesvalia, Klerksdorp
Route Type Circular
Website https://klerksdorpmarathonclub.com / FB Page:  https://www.facebook.com/klerksdorpmarathon/
Contact Details Marius van Heerden 082 487 7290; Jasper van Zyl 083 290 4743; klerksdorpmarathon@gmail.com
Distance Options 42\21\10\5
Online Entries https://www.webtickets.co.za/events/road-running/klerksdorp-marathon/1486430355
Pre-entries Close 31 January 2019
Title Sponsor The Aurum Institute
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 180
Extras? Shirt (first 200 entries)
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 217
Race Description The largest town in the North West province boasts a well organised, fast and flat marathon with great water tables. This is a circular route with and out-and-back ‘pan handle’ section along farm road from 14km to 35km. The first 14km and last 7km are through the suburbs. There is just one hill in Klerksdorp – and of course they make sure to show it off to their visiting runners during the marathon. However, the good news is that the highest point of the route is around the 25km mark – so a fast finish is in store for runners who pace themselves well.

The 2019 race is organised in collaboration with The Aurum Institute – a leading healthcare organisation that has been successfully battling the joint scourge of HIV and TB for the past 20 years.

Why Run It? Get away from the crowds and enjoy one of the great hospitality of a small town marathon – and cool down after your marathon with a dip in the high school pool. Get to run up and down the only hill in Klerksdorp.
How To Get There? 170km (2h) drive along the N12.
Accommodation Options Recommended Options:
Bateleur Guesthouse (Special rate and 2pm checkout for athletes) — Petro White, 0787938338 / www.bateleurgh.co.za / bateleurguesthouse@lantic.net
St Josephs — Helma Cloete, 083 421 2298 / StJosephs@webmail.co.za
Readman Lodge — Maryna Moll, 082 458 0677 / mmoll@lantic.net
What Else To Do There? The Thaba Tswene and Bona Bona Game Lodges are a short drive from Klerksdorp for game drives, spa treatments and dining options. There are also plenty of food, drink and entertainment options around town:
Matlosana Mall / Rio Hotel and Casino / Garden Bridge Lifestyle Centre / Live music
Race Flyer  

Kloppers Marathon

Photo supplied
Race Date Saturday 09 February 2019
Start Venue Bfn Achilles Sports Centre, Att Horak Avenue, Bloemfontein
Route Type Circular
Website www.bfnachilles.co.za/
Contact Details gordonvw@jglgroup.co.za; bloemachilles@gmail.com
Distance Options 42\21\10\5
Online Entries www.bfnachilles.co.za/
Pre-entries Close 5 Feb (late entries 6-8 Feb; no line entries)
Title Sponsor Kloppers
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R190
Extras?
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 210
Race Description The race has a new route in 2019 but the same great sponsor (Kloppers have sponsored the race since its inception 29 years ago). For those who’ve never run around the City of Roses, it can be surprisingly hilly – but the organisers have made sure they keep the climbing to a minimum with the objective of securing a good qualifier for their runners.
Why Run It? A good qualification option for the Free State runners.
How To Get There? 400km (4h) drive due south on the N1.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B & Hotel options
What Else To Do There? https://www.bloemfonteintourism.co.za/
Race Flyer Kloppers Entry Form 2019

Route Description 42.2 Km Kloppers 2019

Jeppe Marathon

Photo supplied
Race Date Sunday 10 February 2019
Start Venue Saheti School Senderwood
Route Type Double-lapper
Website https://jeppemarathon.co.za/
Contact Details info@jeppemarathon.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\8\4
Online Entries https://secure.onreg.com/onreg2/front/step1.php?id=4358
Pre-entries Close 31 January 2019
Title Sponsor Your Company Name Could Be Here!
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 240
Extras? Shirt (first 800 entrants)
Late Entries? No
# of 2018 Finishers 2409
Race Description One of the highlights on the Joburg running calendar. Sadly, this race lost its sponsor last year but the same great vibe and spirit will still be there as 6,000 athletes (3,000 in the marathon) hurtle around Bedfordview and Edenvale. Local businesses try to outdo each other by putting on the most impressive hydration station. Some runners think this course is tough (but they are wrong and need to get out more). Although there are one or two short, sharp steep pulls, most of the climbing is gentle – the highest-lowest point elevation difference is just 76m. You also do most of the hard work on the first half of the lap, hit the highest point (1672m) and then fly home from Gillooly’s Farm to the finish (1596m). You just need to remember to leave a little in the tank for a nasty pull in the last kilometre.
Why Run It? Three good reasons:
1. The race will act as the host for the CGA champs this year, so you can rub shoulders with (and eat the dust of) the best marathon runners in Johannesburg.
2. Almost every traffic report (local and regional) mentions snarl-ups at Gillooly’s Interchange – get to see the farm after which the interchange was named (and hope there is not too much running congestion during the race).
3. If you own a company or represent a corporate looking to sponsor a great event, come and check things out – Jeppe are actively looking for a partner/sponsor to keep one of South Africa’s iconic running events operating at the same level of prestige it has occupied on the sporting calendar over the last three decades.
How To Get There? 11km from central Jhb but race day traffic is very congested so allow extra time.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B & Hotel options
What Else To Do There? Enjoy the post-race activities and atmosphere at one of the best finish venues in the country.
Race Flyer  JeppeMarathon_CGA_Entry_Flyer2019-a5

Threshhold Hillcrest Marathon

Get acquainted with this section of the Comrades route during the Hillcrest Marathon (photo supplied).
Race Date Sunday 10 February 2019
Start Venue Central Hillcrest
Route Type Double-lapper
Website http://hillcrestvillagers.co.za/
Contact Details Julyette Lewis: secretary@hillcrestvillagers.co.za or 082 468 4144 / Marc Allen: chairman@hillcrestvillagers.co.za or 082 455 4782
Distance Options 42\21
Online Entries https://secure.onreg.com/onreg2/front/step1.php?id=4270
Pre-entries Close 03 February 2019
Title Sponsor Threshhold
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 240
Extras? Shirt & Goodie Bag
Late Entries? No (Online entries increase to R270 from 27 Jan)
# of 2018 Finishers 999
Race Description Whilst most other provinces already have a couple of marathons under the best, this is the first opportunity to run a Kwazulu Natal qualifier. The marathon prides itself on its friendliness and great refreshment tables. An early 5am start and a well-shaded course through the suburbs provide some relief from the Durban heat and humidity.
Why Run It? The route provides the astute runner an opportunity to get acquainted with the undulations and atmosphere they’ll encounter on their way up to Pietermaritzburg during Comrades later in the year.
How To Get There? 550km (5h30) drive or 1h flight to Durban and 60km drive from King Shaka Airport.
Accommodation Options www.warrens.co.za /
www.eagleslandingbnb.co.za / www.yorkhousebnb.co.za / www.makaranga.com / www.rivendell.co.za / www.valleylodge.net
What Else To Do There? In the immediate vicinity there are great tourist options like Phezulu Safari Park, Tala Private Game Reserve, 1000 Hills Tourist Route, Shongweni Farmers Market, Umgeni Steam Railway, Inanda Dam, Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, Giba Gorge MTB and Trail Run Park and Restaurant, Shongweni and 1,000 Hills Park Runs
Race Flyer  Hillcrest-Marathon-Entry-Form

Beaufort West Municipality Marathon

Experience the stark beauty of the Karoo National Park (photo wildcard.co.za)
Race Date Saturday 16 February 2019
Start Venue Rustdene Sports Complex
Route Type Out-and-back
Website http://www.aswd.co.za/event/beaufort-west-marathon-2/
Contact Details selma@beaufortwestmun.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries https://entrytickets.net/beaufortwest
Pre-entries Close 13 February 2019
Title Sponsor Beaufort West Municipality
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 115
Extras? Shirt & a hot dog
Late Entries? No
# of 2018 Finishers 10
Race Description Your chance to run a marathon in the Karoo Desert. This is a flat, out-and-back route that starts and finishes on Karoo National Park. One of the more difficult races to get to but it promises a fantastic experience once you are there. It has just gone onto my bucket list and is likely to feature in my 2020 running plans.
Why Run It? Experience the loneliness of the long distance runner whilst taking in the unique beauty of the Karoo Desert. Just ten runners – all men – completed the marathon last year. You’ll need to run a 2:40 marathon to win the men’s race but just need to finish a desert marathon to become the women’s champion.
How To Get There? 950km (9h) drive south along the N1 or fly to Cape Town and 450km (4h) drive.
Accommodation Options Beaufort-Wes Tourism Centre Tel; 023 415 1488
What Else To Do There? Explore the natural beauty of the Karoo National Park, go on a traditional donkey cart ride and visit the Chris Barnard Museum (Barnard was the first doctor to successfully perform a human-to-human heart transplant and was born and raised in Beaufort West).
Race Flyer  

Bielie Mielie Marathon

Enjoy the rural roads of the eastern Free State during the Bielie Mielie Marathon (photo supplied).
Race Date Saturday 16 February 2019
Start Venue Sarel Cilliers Street, Reitz
Route Type Out-and-back
Website http://www.bieliemielie.co.za/index.php
Contact Details Kierie van Zyl 078 120 7677 / Ebarnie Cilliers 082 822 8992 / malutimultisport@vodamail.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10\5
Online Entries None
Pre-entries Close 11 February 2019
Title Sponsor VKB
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 140
Extras?
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 53
Race Description Although the town of Reitz is small in size they are big on mielies – and have one of the largest maize silos in the southern hemisphere. The marathon forms part of the Bielie Mielie Festival – a long weekend full of festivities, sporting activities and ‘lietjies’ from the best Afrikaans talent in the industry. The out-and-back route is run over undulating country roads while competitors take in the atmosphere of the eastern Free State.
Why Run It? Stick around and experience some local culture at the festival. The energetic and competitive can take part in the ‘Boeresport-kompetisie’ later on Saturday afternoon together with your favourite local soap opera stars. If my translation abilities are correct, activities include eiergooi (egg-tossing), mieliepit eet (competitive corn consumption), sakresies (sack races), trekkerband trek (tractor tyre pull) en baaldra (hay bale tossing).
How To Get There? 215km (2h) drive south.
Accommodation Options https://www.travelground.com/accommodation-in/reitz and https://www.sa-venues.com/accommodation/reitz.php
What Else To Do There? In addition to the action and entertainment packed Bielie Mielie Festival, there are game reserves, golf courses, hiking trails, 4×4 trails and many resorts and spas in the area.
Race Flyer  BielieMielie2019MarathonInskrywing_web

Bestmed Tuks Marathon

 

Race Date Saturday 16 February 2019
Start Venue Hillcrest Sports Campus, University of Pretoria
Route Type Circular
Website https://www.up.ac.za/athletics/home
Contact Details jet.moses@up.ac.za; gloudien.spies@up.ac.za
Distance Options 42\21\10\5\1
Online Entries https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5876
Pre-entries Close 09 February 2019
Title Sponsor Bestmed
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 200
Extras? Shirt (first 2,500 online entries 10/21/42)
Late Entries? No
# of 2018 Finishers 1306
Race Description If you thought single-lap races were extinct in Pretoria you’d be wrong – they returned in 2018 with the inaugural Tuks Marathon. The University of Pretoria is one of the country’s leading institutes of higher learning – and enrolling in this course will involve stringent tests and rigorous examinations over a tough route that crams almost every hill in Pretoria into one marathon. However, those who do graduate after 42.2 gruelling kilometres, know that they’ve earned a quality undergraduate degree – and are on the fast-track to honours at Comrades. The good news is that your tertiary education isn’t complete without a party or two – and this race offers festive tables as well as musicians and bands along the way to ensure that there is a bit of playtime amongst all the hill work.
Why Run It? This is Gauteng’s only single-lap marathon north of the Jukskei and the hills you’ll conquer over the course are a great way to get your legs ready for Comrades.
How To Get There? 75km (1h) but allow extra time for traffic.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B & Hotel options
What Else To Do There? http://www.tshwanetourism.com/
Race Flyer

CDM Mayor’s Marathon

Photo from polokwaneathleticclub.co.za
Race Date Saturday 16 February 2019
Start Venue Rugby B & C fields Polokwane
Route Type Out-and-back
Website https://polokwaneathleticclub.co.za/events/event/2019-capricorn-district-municipality-4-in-1-road-race/
Contact Details pretpieter@gmail.com; corrie@attooh.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10\5
Online Entries http://www.bouttime.co.za/
Pre-entries Close 08 February 2019
Title Sponsor Capricorn District Municipality
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 200
Extras? Shirt (first 1,000 entrants)
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 317
Race Description A fast and flat route around Limpopo’s capital city. The route isn’t going to win any beauty competitions but is a good option as a qualifier for those in South Africa’s northern outreaches. The race strives to be the premium marathon in the area with a total prize purse of R150,000.
Why Run It? All Comrades 2018 gold and silver medallists who complete the marathon will receive R500 Sportsman’s Warehouse voucher to assist them with their 2019 training plans. For those further back in the field, join Rocky’s bright yellow pacing bus for a fun-filled qualifier.
How To Get There? 325km (3h) drive due north on the N1.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B & Hotel options
What Else To Do There? http://polokwanetourism.co.za/
Race Flyer CDM Mayors 4 in 1 marathon flyer

Sasol Secunda Marathon

Photo from thebulletin.co.za
Race Date Saturday 16 February 2019
Start Venue Sasol Recreation Club, Nelson Mandela
Drive, Secunda
Route Type Double-lapper
Website
Contact Details July Mavuso – 082 806 1352 july.mavuso@sasol.com;
Abednego Sibanyoni – 082 332 9448 abednego.sibanyoni@sasol.com
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5789
Pre-entries Close 11 February 2019
Title Sponsor Sasol
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 180
Extras? Shirt (first 250 entries)
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 500
Race Description After Sasol founded Sasolburg, they decided to establish a second town around the nearby coalfields of Mpumalanga. They called the town Secunda (which I imagine narrowly beat out Sasolburg II in the naming stakes). Sasol retains their dominance on the area by sponsoring both the Sasolburg and Secunda Marathons. The Secunda marathon is your standard, flat, industrial double-lapper. If running to the backdrop of massive cooling towers, smoky chimneys and giant steel constructions is your thing then this is the race for you. The race claims to be provide slightly more variety than their sister town of Sasolburg with a few gentle undulations to stop your legs from going to sleep – and if you are feeling tired the lively support tables will give you a boost.
Why Run It? A good option for a fast qualifier without the Gauteng crowds.
How To Get There? 130km (1h30) drive east along the N17.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B options
What Else To Do There? Spend the afternoon enjoying activities and water sports on and along the Vaal River.
Race Flyer Sasol-Secunda-Marathon-Club-Flyer

Cape Peninsula Marathon

Note: It seems impossible to get any response from Cape Town race organisers. I am 0 for 2 in 2019 despite fairly vociferous hassling. Not sure if they don’t want any up-country runners running their marathons and/or they have developed an app that automatically filters inland emails. If anyone knows anyone from Celtic Harriers or Top Events please ask them to check their spam folder.

Race Date Sunday 17 February 2019
Venue Green Point-Simon’s Town
Route Type Point-to-point
Website
Contact Details kearnsh@vodamail.co.za; info@topevents.co.zainfo@celticharriers.co.za 
Distance Options 42\21
Online Entries https://pm.topevents.co.za/
Pre-entries Close 10 February 2019
Title Sponsor
Perm Numbers? Yes (10th finish)
Entry Fee R 192
Extras?
Late Entries? No
# of 2018 Finishers 2546
Race Description A point-to-point marathon with plenty of running along the coastline. A fast, flat, easy marathon – unless the South Easter wind blows!
Why Run It? ?
How To Get There? Fly to Cape Town; Green Point is 20km and Simon’s Town 45km from the airport.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B & Hotel options
What Else To Do There? Apart from the plethora of Cape Town sight-seeing options, the finish venue in Simon’s Town provides the opportunity go for a swim with the Penguins at Boulders Beach (and ice your legs in the Atlantic Ocean) – or go further offshore to watch southern right whales from the comfort of a boat or great white sharks from an underwater cage. Simon’s Town also has a number of museums including the South African Naval Museum.
Race Flyer Cape_Penins_Flyer

TWK Assegaai Marathon

Experience the best support table in the country during the Assegaai Marathon (photo supplied).
Race Date Saturday 23 February 2019
Start Venue Piet Retief Rugby Club
Route Type Out-and-back
Website https://www.facebook.com/AssegaaiMC/
Contact Details anne@loveshotsphotos.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries https://www.quicket.co.za/events/62778-twk-assegaai-3-in-1-marathon-2019/#/
Pre-entries Close 19 February 2019
Title Sponsor TWK
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 170
Extras? Buff (first 100 entries)
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 175
Race Description An excellent race close to the Swaziland border. The route is really simple – you run all the way to the Assegaai River and then you turn around and run back again. The first 8km provides a gentle climb and then you have a long gentle decline before a final plummet to the river. This means that the Assegaai stabs you in the back with lots of climbing over the second half. Local legend has it that if you drink from the Assegaai river, it will forever be in your blood. Local common sense has it that if you drink from the Assegaai river, you will have a severe case of explosive diarrhoea. The motto of the organising club is “Laat waai, Assegaai” which translates as “Let loose, Assegaai” – one glass of unfiltered river water and you’ll definitely be letting loose all over the place!
Why Run It? The race entry is worth is just to experience the Charka support table – undoubtedly the best table I’ve ever had the pleasure of frequenting. Tables are every 2km along the route and compete for prestigious annual trophies.
How To Get There? 330km (4h) drive along the N17 and N2.
Accommodation Options www.booking.com offers quite a number of reputable Piet Retief guest houses travelling runners can book for the weekend.
What Else To Do There? http://www.mpumalanga.com/plan-your-trip/information-offices/grass-wetlands/piet-retief
Race Flyer  

Detailed race report: Assegaai Marathon (Can You Judge A Marathon By The Shirt?)

Pirates Groot Gat Marathon

Photo supplied
Race Date Saturday 23 February 2019
Start Venue Pirates Club, 33 Jacobus Smit Avenue
Route Type Circular
Website
Contact Details douw@seesa.co.za / kimberleypirates@gmail.com
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries http://webtickets.co.za/events/featured/groot-gat-marathon/1487811814
Pre-entries Close 20-Feb
Title Sponsor Your Company Name Could Be Here!
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 170
Extras? Shirt
Late Entries? Yes (Late-Entries are R200)
# of 2018 Finishers 92
Race Description The race takes its name from what is claimed to be the deepest hole excavated by hand – Kimberley’s ‘Groot Gat’ (or Big Hole) – and the relatively easy circular route that takes one through the Big Hole complex. There is a tricky off-road section through a working quarry to negotiate before one heads back into Kimberley. Much of the marshalling is done with the assistance of the residents of the  Yonder Home for Mentally Impaired – a really nice touch and a great reason to give your marshals a friendly greeting. The race is organised by one of the oldest running clubs in the country, Pirates, who are celebrating their 135th anniversary this year.
Why Run It? Earn your “Groot Gat” t-shirt and wear it with pride – and see the mother club that gave birth to the truant child that is Greenside Pirates.
How To Get There? 500km (5h) drive or 1h flight (approx R2,000 return)
Accommodation Options Oleander Guest House (award winning 5 star); Ambassadors Lodge (300m from start-finish area); Hadida Guest House (affordable option 2.5km from start-finish area)
What Else To Do There? Go digging for diamonds at the ‘Big Hole’ complex; Check out the historic battlefields as well as various memorials and museums; Have a beer at the Star of the West – the oldest pub in South Africa. There are also a few game viewing options within close driving distance.
Race Flyer  

Hippo Richards Bay Marathon

Finish venue for the inaugural Hippo Marathon (photo supplied)
Race Date Saturday 23 February 2019
Start Venue Zululand Multi Sports Club
Route Type Double-lapper
Website https://www.facebook.com/events/295009331224941/
Contact Details zmsc@telkomsa.net
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries https://www.msem.co.za/
Pre-entries Close 01 February 2019
Title Sponsor Your Company Name Could Be Here!
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 180
Extras? Shirt
Late Entries? No (No race day entries but late entries, no shirt, available until 20 Feb @ R250)
# of 2018 Finishers N/A
Race Description After a long absence, marathon running returns to Richards Bay with the ‘Hippo’ – a super flat double-lapper at sea-level through the suburbs of Meerensee and Arboretum. The start/finish venue is across the road from the main beach in Richards Bay and is a family friendly venue with a club kitchen and bar. The race is offering ten free campsites on a first come, first served basis (each campsite can accommodate 6 people and has a tap, electricity and a braai). To compensate for the expected heat refreshment tables are 2.5km apart, will have ice baths and each runner will be issued with an ‘old school Comrades’ sponge at the start to prevent overheating.
Why Run It? Run the most easterly marathon in South Africa.
How To Get There? 600km (7h) drive or fly to Durban and 150km (1h30) drive from King Shaka along the N2.
Accommodation Options Camp at the venue for free (see ‘Race Description’ for details) or try one of these other options; Within 500m from the venue:
Tree Tops Self CateringThe Ridge Guesthouse / Fig Tree Lane Self Catering / Indaba Lodge / Bayview Lodge
Within 1km from the venue:
Imvubu Lodge / The Richards Hotel / Splendid Inn Bayshore
Within 2km from the venue:
Crayzee Fish Guesthouse / Royal Pelican B&B / Crayfish Creek Guesthouse
What Else To Do There? Richards Bay is a small fishing town – either catch your own supper or enjoy the catch of day with a sundowner at one of the local restaurants whilst overlooking the Indian Ocean. Harbour cruises are available throughout the day and the adventurous might want to explore one of the many game reserves and national heritage sites (like St. Lucia and Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park) that are all within an hour’s drive.
Race Flyer  

Infantry School Cango Marathon

Note: Details below are not verified. No response received from organisers.

Race Date Saturday 23 February 2019
Start Venue Cango Caves-Infantry School, Oudtshoorn
Route Type Point-to-point
Website http://www.aswd.co.za/event/infantry-school-cango-marathon-2/
Contact Details hughesrichard2014@gmail.com
Distance Options 42\21
Online Entries https://entrytickets.net/cangomarathon
Pre-entries Close 08 February 2019
Title Sponsor SA Army Infantry School
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 170
Extras?
Late Entries? No
# of 2018 Finishers 1095
Race Description A downhill marathon from the famous Cango Caves to the Infantry School in Oudtshoorn. Many Cape runners use this race to improve their Comrades and Two Oceans seeding.
Why Run It? ?
How To Get There? 1150km (11h+) drive. Recommend fly to George and 60km drive from there.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B options
What Else To Do There? Explore the Cango Caves and the local ostrich farms.
Race Flyer  

Swasap Ultra Marathon

Note: Awaiting confirmation of details from race organisers/Bloemfontein Achilles.

Race Date Saturday 23 February 2019
Start Venue Bfn Achilles
Route Type ?
Website
Contact Details gordonvw@jglgroup.co.za; bloemachilles@gmail.com
Distance Options 52\21\10\5
Online Entries
Pre-entries Close
Title Sponsor
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee ?
Extras? ?
Late Entries? ?
# of 2018 Finishers 106
Race Description ?
Why Run It? ?
How To Get There? 400km (4h) drive due south on the N1.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B & Hotel options
What Else To Do There? https://www.bloemfonteintourism.co.za/
Race Flyer  TBC

Witness Maritzburg City Marathon

Photo supplied
Race Date Sunday 24 February 2019
Start Venue Golden Horse, 45 New England Road, Pietermaritzburg
Route Type Double-lapper
Website http://www.pmb42.co.za/
Contact Details rd@pmb42.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries https://pmb42.entrysys.co.za/
Pre-entries Close 04 February 2019
Title Sponsor The Witness / Thirsti
Perm Numbers? Yes (5th finish)
Entry Fee R 280
Extras? Shirt (pre-entries before 1 Feb)
Late Entries? No
# of 2018 Finishers 3334
Race Description A big field, double-lapper around Kwazulu Natal’s capital that takes you through the City of Choice and some of her leafy suburbs. I’m not generally a fan of big field double-lap races but this is a race worth doing – and is one of the best organised in the country. Comrades runners can enjoy the novelty of running past Pietermaritzburg’s famous City Hall without having another 90km ahead of them – and finish at Scottsville race course without being totally stuffed. Fittingly, more runners submit this as their Comrades qualifier than any other.
Why Run It? This is one of the few AIMS certified events in South Africa and is arguably the best organised race on the calendar. John Hall and his team operate on the mantra “We put the runners first.” and, although this is the most expensive February marathon, every cent is spent on ensuring a fantastic experience for the runner.

For those that like working towards permanent numbers, you earn one with just five finishes here.

How To Get There? 500km (5h) drive or fly to Durban and 100km (1h) drive from King Shaka.
Accommodation Options http://www.pmb42.co.za/route-maps/10-/12-accomodation.html
What Else To Do There? Plenty to do in Pietermaritzburg – check out http://www.pmbtourism.co.za/  or spend some time in the magnificent Midlands.
Race Flyer  PMB42_EntryForm_2019

Detailed race report: Maritzburg City Marathon (A Return To The Mainstream)

Township Marathon

Experience the Township Marathon vibe (photo supplied).
Race Date Sunday 24 February 2019
Start Venue Eldorado Park Stadium. Cuming Road, Eldorado Park
Route Type Double-lapper
Website http://www.thetownshipmarathon.org/
Contact Details Info@thetownshipmarathon.org.za / townshipmarathon@gmail.com
Distance Options 42\21\10\4.54
Online Entries https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5758
Pre-entries Close 12 February 2019
Title Sponsor Your Company Name Could Be Here!
Perm Numbers? Planned for future
Entry Fee R 200
Extras? Shirt (pre-entries before 27 Jan)
Late Entries? Yes
# of 2018 Finishers 678
Race Description I’ve not run the course since it became a double-lapper but understand that it is fast and flat with lots of community participation. The race promises a unique township vibe and post-race entertainment. The route takes in several points of interest and historic sites like Walter Sisulu Square where the Freedom Charter was signed in 1955.
Why Run It? A chance to do a township run without all the traffic and congestion that plagues Soweto. This is one of the few Gauteng marathons with less than 1,000 entrants and is a good option for a qualifier or debut marathon.
How To Get There? Eldorado Park is 20km south west of central Joburg with many access points.
Accommodation Options Soak up the township vibe by booking a room at the “Soweto Hotel” in Kliptown (where the Freedom Charter was signed / 3km from the race venue).
What Else To Do There? Book yourself onto a township tour or explore the many famous and significant sites in the vicinity like Vilakazi Street and the Hector Pietersen Memorial Museum.
Race Flyer  Township_Marathon_Race Pamphlet_2019_Revised

Deloitte Pretoria Marathon

Note: Details not verified – waiting for the Deloitte PR machine to get back to me.

Race Date Sunday 24 February 2019
Start Venue Pretoria High School Old Boys Club, Hofmeyr Park 378 Queens Crescent, Lynnwood
Route Type Double-lapper
Website https://www2.deloitte.com/za/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/the-deloitte-challenge-pretoria-marathon0.html
Contact Details info@phobians.co.za
Distance Options 42\21\10
Online Entries https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5787
Pre-entries Close 10 February 2019
Title Sponsor Deloitte
Perm Numbers? No
Entry Fee R 200
Extras? Shirt (first 4000 entries)
Late Entries? No (No race day entries but store entries available until 20 Feb and at Phobians Club 21-22 Feb)
# of 2018 Finishers 2949
Race Description This race in the nation’s capital is one of the tougher marathons out there. The double-lap route winds you up Waterkloof Ridge and to the top of Klapperkop Hill before murdering your quads with a rapid descent that takes you all the way into the beautiful grounds of Pretoria Boys’ High School. Although the final kilometre is a juicy downhill, the preceding four kilometres are a steady climb that will test your weary legs.
Why Run It? With over 10,000 participants over the various distances, this is a race for those who like their marathons big and hilly.
How To Get There? 75km (1h) but allow extra time for traffic.
Accommodation Options Check out Google for B&B & Hotel options
What Else To Do There? http://www.tshwanetourism.com/
Race Flyer

READ MORE: The Running Mann’s Guide to January Marathons

Notes

  • I will update this page as additional information becomes available/is provided.
  • If you have anything to add (or correct) please drop me a note.
  • I’m happy to answer any questions – feel free to contact me on social media @runningmann100
  • I plan to add route profiles and maps in future versions but don’t have time to chase these down at present.
  • Marathon/ultra race organisers: I will be in contact to get information for future events but feel free to jump the gun and contact me directly.

See you on the road!

#RunSouthAfrica

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