Great Races of the Cape

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

In just three weeks during March and April, Cape Town plays host to three of SA’s major sporting events, namely the Cape Argus Cycling Tour, the Absa Cape Epic and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon.

While non participating Capetonians have been known to escape the maddening crowds during these peak periods, others welcome seasonal holidaymakers throughout the year. During the build up of major sporting events, locals share busy roads, nature reserves and beaches with sporting enthusiasts who often combine it with coastal holidays. The upside is an increase in visitor numbers during this period, resulting in greater interest in residential properties for sale, as well as a boost in local tourism.

Property Professional Marion Bolton of Chas Everitt International Property Group, representing Constantia and surrounding Lifestyle Estates, says increased website traffic during these periods show a notable increase in visitor numbers. Bolton says virtual tours now play a major role in potential buyers filtering down the number of properties for viewing during visits, and while steady interest from upcountry buyers continues, a treacle of interest has also been noted from returning expats.

The Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour is the world’s largest individually timed cycle race, that started in 1978 and now attracts 35 000 local, upcountry and international participants. Starting out in the city centre, riders head out toward Muizenberg, witnessing magnificent views of both the False Bay and Atlantic Coast lines. After peaking at Chapman’s Peak, cyclists make their way back along the scenic route over Hout Bay’s Suikerbossie hill via the Atlantic Seaboard to the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point.

Following at the end of March, is the grueling Absa Cape Epic, an eight day mountain bike race, and firm favourite with 1 200 local and international mountain biking enthusiasts. Viewed as one of the world’s most prestigious mountain biking events, the race stretches across 781km, including 16 300m of climbing from Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville via Robertson and the Caledon Oak Valley in Elgin.

Private landowners open up their land for the race once a year, traversing through several sections, some which belong to MTO Forestry, Cape Nature and National Parks. In addition are two local schools, the Robertson Primary School and Overberg Primary and High Schools, that facilitate daily starting and finishing points. The highlight of the event is celebrated in style at the final finishing point on the magnificent grounds of the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.

Last Saturday saw the famous Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon taking place, with a record field of over 25 000 participating runners who started and finished at the University of Cape Town in Newlands. This year's race comprised two new trail running categories, a 10km fun run, 21km half marathon, and the 56km ultra marathon.

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