Online entries for the Old Mutual Two Oceans ultra marathon close on Wednesday 7 March and no late entries will be taken after this date. Over 7 300 entries have already been received and the race office is expecting a field in excess of 8 500 runners on Easter Saturday 7 April. Postal entries have already closed.
All substitutions, upgrades, downgrades and seeding changes must also be done by 7 March and detailed instructions on how to do these processes online are available on the website www.twooceansmarathon.org.za. Runners will not be able to make any changes after the cut off date or at the Expo.
Runners will have a chance to bid for an ultra marathon entry when six entries go on auction from Thursday 8 March. Bidding opens at R900 each and interested participants can post their bid at www.dogreatthings.co.za/running/two-oceans-marathon/
The auction runs through until 13 March, with one entry awarded to the highest bidder of each day. Winners will be announced the day after each bid. Winning bids will also receive a PUMA product voucher worth R1 500 and their race entry includes an ‘A’ seeding.
The auctions were introduced a few years ago as part of a fundraising drive. Money raised through the auctions will go to the Two Oceans Marathon Initiative (TOMI) that will provide much needed funding for a select group of charities. These charities are SANParks and their Honorary Rangers, the Western Province Kids Athletics Programme and the I Am Water Trust.
According to race director Rowyn James: “We really wanted to spread the goodwill and feel that having a group of charities benefit from our event is definitely the way forward. Our priorities lie with ensuring that the education and sporting needs of children are met, that education facilities are provided and upgraded, and that that environmental issues involving South Africa’s parks, flora and fauna are included, as well as our oceans.”
The collaboration between TOMI, SANParks and the Honorary Rangers will provide support for some of Table Mountain National Park’s (TMNP) key environmental projects. The SANParks Honorary Rangers in the Table Mountain region comprises 35 volunteers who support TMNP by fundraising and working on a variety of conservation projects in the park.
The rangers raise funds and contribute time and expertise to SANParks on a voluntary basis. They also assist with environmental education for youngsters and play a role in the visitor safety programme through the TMNP Patrol Dog campaign. Other projects include trail and boardwalk maintenance, removal of alien invader plant species and indigenous tree planting.
TOMI will also contribute towards the Western Province Kids Athletics Development Programme, which aims to foster a love of athletics, to educate and identify talented individuals, to positively impact on the lives of the participants and provide children with fun-filled activities. The programme introduces youngsters to athletics in an attractive, accessible and instructive manner that is specific to the ages of the children. Launched in 2011, the programme contributes towards transformation whilst removing access barriers such as cost, elitism, race and gender.
South Africa has one of the most spectacular and diverse coastlines in the world, yet very few South Africans have access to it. TOMI has chosen the I Am Water Trust as it aims to introduce people to the ocean environment, while educating and raising awareness around important conservation issues. The Trust is committed to education and to sharing total ocean submersion with as many people as they can, and recently started a programme to teach people to swim. To hear, read or see a picture of the beauty or devastation of the ocean environment can never replace the personal experience of putting on a mask and fins and experiencing the salty majesty of the ocean.