Those who enjoy running have a level of passion for it that is rarely found in other sports or forms of exercise. They rarely preach the benefits of it; they just know them and enjoy them. From personal experience of having gone running many times, they understand how powerful the endorphins are when they kick in, and they love the power and speed with which they are able to cover long distances. Those that run almost every day rely on their runs to zone out from the burdens and stresses of their life, leaving their negativity pounded into the ground one step at a time.

It gets to be enough that they want to see how fast they can go, but also how far they can go. Many start doing 5k races, moving up to 10k events, then half marathons, and even full marathons. These grueling 26-mile races have yet to be finished in under two hours, but major events draw tens of thousands of racers who love getting the number, being a part of the crowd and crossing the finish line.

The Cape Town ultra marathon is a bucket list ambition of many runners. This race is famous internationally but always held in Cape Town, South Africa. The annual event is always held the Saturday immediately preceding Easter Sunday. This 35-mile marathon is the primary race, although there’s also a half marathon event accompanying it.

Racers from around the world love it because it winds through some of the gorgeous scenery of the peninsula. Many who have never visited Africa imagine it all being rain-forest, savanna, or desert, but in truth, it is the world’s second largest continent in size, and the county of South Africa at the bottom end is one of the rare places on the continent to have temperate climates. Nothing stands between the coast of the Cape and the continent of Antarctica to the south, Australia to the east, and South America to the west, save of course thousands of miles of endless ocean.Being able to spend a day running this route, with the contrast of epic African beauty and the endless ocean is an experience like no other, and the air smells differently here than anywhere else in the world, especially when you’re gasping for air in the second half of the race and breathing hard just to keep going.

Those flying in from elsewhere in the world should plan on long trips to get ready for the race but also to have time to recover from it. Depending on how many time zones are crossed, there can be serious jet lag that might dictate several days to recover from. Acclimating to the climate is also an adjustment, especially if someone comes from the opposite season in the northern hemisphere. After the race, wait a few days to recover before traveling again, as Cape Town is worth exploring as a tourist, albeit a sore one.

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