In 1977, the Bredasdorp Athletics Club was established, and in 1978 Mr. Eps Joubert Chairperson of the Bredasdorp Athletics Club have a passion for running and a healthy lifestyle.
From there the idea evolved of a marathon in Bredasdorp. The marathon was unique, because it is the southernmost in Africa and the beautiful routes with fynbos and other sceneries. In an article from 27 October 1978 some of the athlete feedback were as follow: “tough, challenging and a combination of marathon and a trail run. You definitely have something that will grow in a big marathon.”
The first marathon held in 1978 tested the talent and endurance of South Africa’s road running elite. Since ex-Matie, Stephan Donald won the first Voet van Afrika Marathon in 1978, competing against 169 entries, in a time of 2:43:20 a string of South Africa’s best talent have competed in this event.
Over the years the marathon was won by notable long-distance runners such as Johannes Thobejane, Gabashane Rakabaele, Ben Choeu, Siphiwe Gqele, Elias Stemmer, Olmpic marathon champion Josiah Thugwane, Michael Scout and Lindile Tokota. International athletes, who triumphed at the Voet van Afrika Marathon, include Vladimir Kotov, Jaroslav Janici and Charl Mattheus.
Whilst only men participated in the marathon in 1978, women ran in a half marathon. The first winner was Me. Thelma Rossouw in a time of 1:40:29.
In 1980, the brilliant Elana Meyer won the event, but was not officially crowned because she was too young to participate. Women who vectored in the half marathon include Liz Eglington, Noo Scales, Frith van der Merwe, Grace De’Oliveira and Marie Hill. The half marathon was opened for men in 2002.
In 1998, a 10km-run was added to the marathon programme for the not so experienced runners. Whilst recreational runners participated in the world renowned 4km “Toontjie” fun-run on the Friday evening before the marathon, making the Voet van Afrika Marathon a keenly anticipated event for the whole family
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