South Africa’s running community is vibrant and growing, with a variety of events and races that cater to runners of all levels. From an easy-paced 5k to ultra marathons, there is something for everyone who wants to challenge themselves and experience the beauty of South Africa’s landscapes.
Selecting a handful of iconic events was no easy task, as each race offers something completely different. With a little help from our community and professional runners, we were able to bring you the best of the best for 2023.
Get your running shoes on, and let’s dive into the world of South African running events!
Everyday Athlete Events
Absa Run Your City Series
Starts 2 April 2023 | 10km
The mass participation road running series has been revolutionizing the sport since 2015. The Absa RUN YOUR CITY Series integrates businesses, families, investment in the community and fun for all participants. The race takes part in these cities: Gqeberha, Cape Town, Durban, Tshwane and Jozi.
“It’s difficult to choose only three, hehe! The first one that comes to mind is the ever-popular ABSA Run Your City 10km race series that takes place across the country each year. Thousands of runners come together to run the different races, and the atmosphere is incredible! The 10km distances attract more runners, so the inclusive nature of this series, as well as their city clean-up projects and other community support work really stands out for me.” Gerda Steyn (Olympian 2020, 3 x Two Ocean Marathon- and Comrades winner)
Weekly | 5km
The parkrun is a 5k community event and takes place every Saturday morning. You can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate at this all-inclusive event. There is no time limit and no one finishes last. Everyone is welcome to come along.
Side note: If you’re new to running this is the club to join!
The adidas Runners is an international running community for people from all walks of life. Guidance, support, motivation, and inspiration – are all the qualities that drive their community forward. It’s all about running and upliftment.
5km Training Plan
If you want to get a head start on your training, download our 5km training plan here.
Marathons & Ultra-Marathons
These marathons offer an unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of competition with the joy of exploring South Africa’s top locations and stunning scenery. Most major events offer multiple running distances and activities for the entire family. If running is not your cup of tea, then these events are ideal to go sightseeing and explore new local towns, cuisine and attractions.
11 June 2023 | 90km
This ultra-marathon is one of the oldest and most famous running races in the world. It covers 90 kilometres (56 miles) between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
Entries are closed, but if you’ve already entered (good luck 😅) or supporting a fellow athlete, you can follow along on the ultimate human race here.
“It is such a unique experience and one that never leaves you, once you have conquered it!! Personally, it changed my life” Gerda Steyn (Olympian 2020, 3 x Two Ocean Marathon- and Comrades winner)
Two Oceans Marathon
15 April 2023 | 56km
Distances available: 56km Ultra-Marathon, 21.1km Half-marathon & fun runs (various distances)
Known as the world’s most beautiful race. This marathon takes place in Cape Town over the Easter Weekend, and covers 56 kilometres (35 miles) around the Cape Peninsula, offering stunning views of the ocean.
Did you know: In 1975, Theresa Stadler, who was 40 years old at the time, was the first female runner to enter the Two Oceans Marathon
“It’s called the most beautiful marathon in the world for a good reason, and running the 56km ultra on one of South Africa’s most iconic routes is nothing but a treat. It is also a popular way to plan a family holiday as it promises loads of excitement for everyone before and after the race!” Gerda Steyn (Olympian 2020, 3 x Two Ocean Marathon- and Comrades winner)
Cape Town Marathon
14 & 15 October 2023 | 42.2km
Distances available: 42.2km & trail run options
This is a popular city marathon in Cape Town, known for its scenic route and festive atmosphere. The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is now an Abbott World Marathon Major candidate, the first in Africa.
Forever Loskop Marathon
06 May 2023 | 50km
Distances available: 50km Ultra Marathon, 21.1km Trail Run, 5km Fun Run
A fan favourite on the running calendar, the Loskop Marathon takes place on Saturday 06 May 2023 from Middelburg to Loskopdam. The Nashua Loskop Marathon 50km is an ultramarathon on a route very similar to the Comrades Marathon route and a keen favourite amongst marathon runners.
Spar Women’s Challenge
Starts 23 April 2023 | 10km
The series is held in 6 South African cities annually; Cape Town, Gqeberha, Durban, Mbombela, Tshwane and Johannesburg; and covers a 10km running distance. Each participant will be in the running for prize money determined by the accumulated points and bonus points they collected over the entire series.
TBC (November) | 42km
Distances available: 42km, 21km and 10km
Known as “The People’s Race”. This marathon takes place in Soweto, Johannesburg and attracts thousands of runners every year. It is known for its lively atmosphere and the challenging hills along the route.
Om die Dam Marathon
Past Event | 18 March 2023 | 50km
This popular road race takes place around the Hartbeespoort Dam, in the North West Province, and offers a challenging course with beautiful views.