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TThe Two Oceans Marathon, held over the Easter weekend every year in Cape Town, is wildly popular. Maybe it’s the great running and ocean air. Maybe it’s the fact that while you’re running your eyes will constantly be on the craggy mountains and graceful coastline.
Welcome to the most beautiful race in the world.
Now that's a bold statement for anyone to make, but when you run the Two Oceans Marathon, between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans down on the Cape Peninsula of South Africa, chances are you'll endorse those sentiments.
Just take Chapman's Peak Drive, for instance. It's hard to keep your eyes on the road because of all the distractions out there: a few dolphins leaping out at sea, the delicious curve of the coast, fynbos in bloom and, on a clear day, the bobbing fishing boats, surfers and the tucked-in little hamlets along the way.
Nearly 13 000 runners take on the ultramarathon version (56 kilometres) of this Cape Town race, while about 16 000 sign up for the half-marathon, the favourite of its kind in South Africa.
The Two Oceans Marathon, which takes place over the Easter Weekend, winds along the peninsula seaboard, arguably the most scenic drive – or run – one can find.
For the serious runners, it's tough going, and a classic field of winners has come from various African countries and the Russian states. The first black runner to win a Comrades Marathon medal, Vincent Rakabele, won the Two Oceans in 1976, beating another Comrades legend, Alan Robb.
Dirkie Steyn of Stellenbosch University was the first winner of this ultramarathon, then known as the Celtic 35 Mile Road Race. He was one of only 15 finishers at that inaugural 1970 event – and he ran the whole race barefoot.
The race – officially known as the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon – is the main Easter event, but around this there are various expos, a family day, fun runs and all manner of entertainment for young and old.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Two Oceans Marathon race office
Tel: +27 (0)87 740 5260
How to get here
The Two Oceans Marathon begins and ends in Cape Town, which is served by an international airport.
Best time to visit
The race is held annually over the Easter weekend.
Things to do
Most people know the Two Oceans as a marathon. But those not too serious about marathon running could also do the 5km or 2.5km fun-runs.
Length of stay
The race takes a day, but you'll definitely want to stay around to explore all the sights you ran past.
Where to stay
Cape Town has many hotels, guest houses and B&Bs. Just book well in advance, because the Easter weekend usually coincides with local school holidays.
What to pack
Runners and supporters need to be very aware of the hot sun. Pack hats and plenty of sunscreen, as well as a jacket for the cool early-morning start.