Cape Town, South Africa, March 2024 

PUMA has signed a partnership with ultra-marathon champion Givemore Mudzinganyama.

Mudzinganyama, the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon defending champion, said he was inspired to partner with the brand by seeing PUMA international and local athletes achieving their goals: “For example, Precious Mashele ran a 10km South African record last year. I’m also loving the comfort and cushioning of the shoes.”

Rae Trew-Browne, PUMA SA Run Train Marketing Manager, said having an athlete of Givemore Mudzinganyama’s calibre joining the family showed how far the PUMA NITRO running footwear had progressed, in particular the PUMA Deviate NITRO Elite 2 and the PUMA Fast-R2 NITRO Elite which will be Mudzinganyama choice of race shoes.

“We are delighted to welcome Givemore to PUMA and look forward to working with him as he attempts to defend his 2023 Two Oceans Marathon title,” said Trew-Browne.

A member of the Entsika Athletics Club, Mudzinganyama trains at Zoolake under the watchful eye of coach Hendrik Ramaala. I love to train with the Zoolake training group. Everyone is ambitious and has their own goals, so we are always challenging each other. Then after training we regroup, reflect, and talk about our future endeavours,” he said.

Although capable of racing across many different distances, he prefers marathons and ultra-marathons. “I love these distances because they are influenced by many factors like nutrition during the event, endurance, fatigue, and mental focus as we’re running for many hours. Trying to perfect all these factors at once is always mind blowing and interesting,” he said.

Asked about his past successes and future goals, Mudzinganyama said: “Winning and running well is always rewarding. It’s a mental boost because you know that your training is working. I’m happy with the past and the present and I’m looking forward for good achievements in the near future.”

Givemore Mudzinganyama PUMA Q&A 

Q: What do you enjoy most about your sport?
When I’m running I feel more free and relaxed. I feel in control of every thought in my mind and I also become ambitious and curious about my goals both relating to running and outside of running. I also like running because it’s a healthy lifestyle.

Q: What has running taught you?

A:That you need to be patient and you need to put together your fitness goals and physical abilities at an equilibrium level. Consistency is measured in weeks, months and years. When you put everything together success is on the way.

Q: Anything that has boosted your performance over the past year?

A:After I lost my job, I joined the Entsika Athletics Club and this has enabled me to fully commit to running and I haven’t missed a single training session at Zoolake with my coach Hendrik Ramaala.

Q:Tell us about winning the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon?

A: Winning and running well is always rewarding. It’s a mental boost because you know that your training is working. I’m happy with the past and the present and I’m looking forward for good achievements in the near future.

Q: Your favourite place to train?

A:I love to train with the Zoolake training group. Everyone is ambitious and has their own goals, so we are always challenging each other. Then after training we regroup, reflect and talk about our future endeavours.

Q: Your favourite race?

A: For now I can say the Two Oceans Ultra. The puzzle worked really well last year so my thoughts are on trying to perfect the way I trained last year.

Q: Which are your favourite distances to race?

A:I’m enjoying marathons and ultra-marathons. I love these distances because they are influenced by many factors like nutrition during the event, endurance, fatigue and mental focus as we’re running for many hours. Trying to perfect all these factors at once is always mind blowing and interesting.

Q: Tell us where your journey as a runner began?

A:I grew up loving many sports but during my school years I started doing athletics and I was always selected to represent my school. It became the gateway to travel to see different cities as we were from rural areas. It took self-commitment to drive me to keep on loving running, but I was also lucky to find mentors who have guided me with life lessons which have positively impacted my sporting career.

Q:What are your goals for 2024?

A: To run well at the Two Oceans Ultra and add another marathon or ultra-marathon later in the year, around September or October. In between I’ll try to enjoy some fast, short races to rejuvenate myself.

Q: What shoes do you compete in?

A:I’m currently exploring the PUMA shoe range and so for I am loving the Deviate NITRO 2.

Q: Do your train in different shoes and if so why?

A: I train in different types of shoes. It’s mainly determined by terrain conditions, the speed you’re running and the distance you want to cover. Longer easy runs will require higher comfort and cushioning. Faster runs will demand lighter and responsive shoes. Sometimes you need more grip on slippery and rough pathways.

Q: Why have you decided to partner with the brand?

A:I am inspired by PUMA international and local athletes achieving their goals. For example, Precious Mashele who ran a 10km South African record last year. I’m also loving the comfort and cushioning of the shoes.

Q: Any key factors that have boosted your career?

A: Getting married in 2013. My partner is also an athlete, so our daily routine is dedicated to sports as we are constantly trying to find how we can improve.

Q: When challenges hit you during a race, how do you make yourself push on?

A: I look back at some of the hard training efforts. At times I seek support from the fans cheering along the route.

Q: Advice for young aspiring athletes?

A: Find and join a professional running group and grow within that community.

Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon Entries Open 1 November

The much-anticipated news has broken that entries for the Western Cape’s most prestigious road race and Africa’s biggest running event, the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon (TTOM), will open at midday (12pm) on 1 November 2022.

To enter, runners can go to the event website, www.twooceansmarathon.org.za, when entries open for their category or event draw, and click ‘enter here.’ Runners must first create a user profile, if they do not yet have one on the system, and then follow the prompts.

Fees, Licences and Tees

The 2023 entry fees have been ratified by the TOM Board, take note all South African runners for the Ultra need to be licenced athletes and belong to a running club. All TTOM 2023 Ultra and Half Marathon runners will receive a complimentary, high quality running T-shirt courtesy of title sponsor, Totalsports.

The pricing structure for entry fees will be the following:

Entry Type Ultra Half
Licensed SA Athletes R735 R390
Unlicensed SA Athletes n/a R390 + temp licence fee, to be confirmed by WPA
African Athletes R900 R725
International Athletes R2700 R1890


Ballot System for SA Entries

The ballot system will be retained for both the Ultra and Half Marathon for South African runners, in line with international best practice. Runners may enter only one event. The ballot opens on 1 November 2022 at midday and closes on 14 November at midnight. At certain stages of the ballots, the draws will be weighted in favour of various categories of runners, including Blue Number Club members, Yellow Numbers (those doing their 10th, 20th, etc) and club runners. The various rounds of the ballot draw all take place on 15 November 2022.

Runners entering via the ballot pay only once their name has been successfully drawn. Runners have until 5pm on 15 December 2022 (one month) to make their payment. Otherwise, the runner forfeits their entry and it will be allocated to another runner.

International and African entries open on 25 October 2022 and close when capacity is reached. International and African runners do not enter via the ballot system, and can pay for and secure their entries straight away. Last but not least, charity entries open on 18 November 2022 (at midday), and fees will be uploaded once final charity partners have been confirmed.

Qualifiers and Seeding

For the Ultra Marathon, runners need to run a standard marathon (42.2km) or a longer distance race on an officially timed and measured course, and any time posted from 1 July 2022 onwards can be used. The maximum allowed qualifying time for a standard marathon is five hours, and the race website contains a list of qualifying times for longer distances, at www.twooceansmarathon.org.za/event_route_info/seeding.

The time submitted by runners will used to seed them into starting batches, with faster runners in the front and slower runners at the back. The cut-off date to submit your qualifier is 6 March 2023 at 5pm, and take note that the Race Office will be conducting spot-checks to verify qualifier information submitted. If you do not see your race on the TTOM entry system, you can e-mail info@twooceansmarathon.org.za for assistance.

In the Half Marathon, qualifying times are also used to seed you, so that faster runners start at the front and slower runners further back. We strongly advise you to provide a seeding time, otherwise you will unfortunately start at the back. Seeding is based on a previous 10km, 15km or 21.1km run after 1 July 2022, and again, the Race Office will be conducting spot-checks to verify qualifier information submitted. More info at www.twooceansmarathon.org.za/event_race_day/seeding-2.

If You Have Questions…

For more information on entering or other race information, you can read the list of FAQs on the event website at www.twooceansmarathon.org.za/event-info/faqs., or you can contact the event office on 021 2000 459 (general queries) or 087 133 2285 (race-related queries), or email info@twooceansmarathon.org.za.

New Era for Two Oceans Following Move Off Easter Weekend

The long-standing tradition of the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon taking place on Easter Weekend has come to an end, following today’s announcement by the Two Oceans Marathon NPC (TOM NPC) that the next edition of the Western Cape’s biggest road running event will take place on 15 and 16 April 2023.

This marks the first time since the fourth edition of the Two Oceans Marathon in 1973 that the race will not be held over the Easter Weekend, but on the following weekend instead. The race will be held over two days, with the 56km Ultra Marathon scheduled on Saturday 15 April 2023 and the Half Marathon taking place on Sunday 16 April 2023. (More thoughts on this below from the Modern Athlete team.)

Two-Day Format

The TOM NPC says its long-term plans to grow the capacity of both the Ultra and Half Marathon have made it necessary to adopt a two-day format. This was first implemented during the 2022 Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon, and will once again be the case for the 52nd edition of the Two Oceans Marathon in 2023. This provides the only feasible framework for accommodating the upscaled logistics requirements, with runner safety at the core of these considerations.

In turn, the two-day format necessitated the move away from the Easter Weekend, as agreed with various public, hosting and supplier stakeholders. Following consultations, negotiations and an agreement with the City of Cape Town, business stakeholders, and sporting affiliations, the date for the 2023 Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon has now been finalised as the 15th and 16th April 2023.

“After extensive consultations and negotiations, it is good to be able to provide the many runners – not least our international athletes – with the clarity they have been seeking,” says Two Oceans Marathon Chairperson, William Swartbooi. “Moving to a new date is never easy. While we can’t please everyone, we have tried our utmost to factor in all considerations – and there certainly were many. Building on the success of the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon 2022, we look forward to delivering an even better edition of our globally iconic race in 2023.”

He adds: ‘The move away from the Easter Weekend is a watershed moment for Two Oceans Marathon. It was not an easy decision, but a necessary one, in order to future-proof the event and gear it for growth. When the sum of all factors is considered, we believe we made the most practical decision we could in order to achieve best outcomes not only in 2023, but over the medium-term, and indeed the long-term future of the race.”

Mixed Reactions

The Easter Weekend trip to Cape Town has been a much-loved tradition for half a century, even more so since the Half Marathon and Fun Runs were added to the event programme in the 1990s, making it possible for the whole family to participate. Judging by comments on social media as well on within running club WhatsApp groups, the announcement of the new date has met with both strong approval and disapproval from the South African running community.

Some who approve say they are glad to see that the event will no longer clash with one of the most religious weekends on the Christian calendar, but some in the Muslim community have expressed disappointment that the 2023 date still places the Two Oceans within the Festival of Ramadan, making it extremely challenging to train for and participate in the event.

The most outspoken criticism has come from up-country runners, many of whom have said that the Easter long weekend made it possible to travel to the Cape for the race without it impacting too much on work commitments, whereas a normal weekend may prevent them from travelling next year. On the other hand, some have said the cost of flights may be lower if the race is not on Easter Weekend, which is traditionally one of the busiest periods for travel across SA.

Our Take on Things

The Modern Athlete team believes that in spite of some negative initial reactions, the running community will adapt and get used to the new norm for Two Oceans – just as the running community adapted to the Comrades Marathon moving off the 16 June public holiday and becoming a normal weekend event. It remains to be seen where (or whether) the Trail Runs, Fun Runs and International Friendship Run will fit into the event programme. These events used to take place on Good Friday of the Easter Weekend, but have not been held since the last pre-COVID edition of the race in 2019.

Also, we feel that many runners who are against this new date for the event may not comprehend the bigger picture, that the Two Oceans Marathon has to be slotted into an incredibly congested event calendar in the Mother City, and thus finding an open weekend is not as simple as it sounds. Around that time of year, the city also hosts the Cape Town Cycle Tour as well as many other sporting and cultural events, and we have no doubt that it took a lot of hard work for the race to arrive at the decision that the weekend of 15-16 April will be Two Oceans weekend.

From a tourism perspective, the move away from Easter may have some negative effects on the city. Studies in past years showed that the Two Oceans Marathon contributes up to R672 million to the local and provincial economy annually, making it Africa’s biggest running event when measured by this metric. This was partly due to entire families decamping to Cape Town for the Easter Weekend for the race, then spending the rest of the weekend, or even week, enjoying the Mother City’s attractions. We may now see less families travelling to the Cape for the event, especially if the Fun Runs are not reinstated for now, but we think that with time, the people will come back to the event.

Lastly, it has been widely reported that the 2019 and 2022 editions of the Two Oceans faced considerable challenges, on various levels, including widespread objections this year to the running of the Ultra on Easter Sunday. The 2023 edition will be an opportunity for the event not only to avoid a repeat of those objections, but to consolidate and focus on getting the essentials right, then build on that by growing numbers, reinstating supplementary events and activations, and more. In short, Team Modern Athlete is excited to see where the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon goes from here.

Totalsports Backs Iconic Two Oceans Marathon with Title Sponsorship

Totalsports, part of The Foschini Group (TFG), is proud to announce that it has entered into a three-year agreement as the new title sponsor of Cape Town’s iconic Two Oceans Marathon, which will now be known as the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon. The sponsorship supports the return of one of South Africa’s most prestigious running events after a two-year absence due to the COVID pandemic.

“We fully appreciate the heritage of the Two Oceans Marathon and we are honoured to be the title sponsor,” says TFG CEO Anthony Thunström. “Totalsports is a firm believer in the unifying power of running and our investment is a celebration of the enduring spirit of runners everywhere, in overcoming the challenges of the past two years. It’s great to finally see our running community excited about taking part in landmark events like Two Oceans again.”

The Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) will once again be run over the Easter Weekend, but for the first time in the event’s history, the race will be run over two days. While the Half Marathon takes place on Saturday 16 April, the Ultra Marathon will be run on Sunday 17 April. Entries opened on Friday 11 February and will close at midnight on Sunday 20 February, with ballot draws taking place on Monday 21 February to determine which entries will be successful.  

TOM Race Director Debra Barnes says, “We are excited to be staging our world-class, globally iconic event in partnership with Totalsports, a leading retail sports apparel brand. The commitment to enhancing the runner experience underpins much of who we are as an organisation, and when it comes to doing more for the runner, we could not have asked for a better alignment than with a brand that is as runner-centric as we are.”

The 2022 running of the ultra will be its 51st since inception for this jewel event on the Western Cape’s calendar of highlights, and an economic impact study showed that the 2016 event contributed up to R670 million to the local provincial economy annually, making it one of Africa’s biggest running events when measured by this metric.

In speaking to this new and exciting partnership with Totalsports, TOM NPC Chairperson William Swartbooi says, “In building this organisation, we trust those who add value, and value those whom we trust. We are confident that this partnership represents a value-add on several fronts, but most importantly for our key constituents, our runners.”

President of Athletics South Africa, James Moloi, has also warmly welcomed news of the sponsorship: “We welcome on board the new partners of the Two Oceans Marathon, Totalsports. This welcome sponsorship will continue the tradition of offering career development for athletes, coaches and teams,” he says. “I take this opportunity to congratulate the race organisers on the new sponsorship and trust that it is a beginning of a long relationship between the two parties.”

Totalsports Head of Business, Jonathan Stein, adds, “We are committed to making running accessible to all South Africans, no matter the goal, distance, or motivation for running. We want to inspire runners to live their best lives, and we know many runners dream of completing the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon. It represents inclusivity, the natural beauty, and protection of the environment, as well as the excellence of the athletes who compete, and the world-class standards the event has maintained over its long history. As the leaders in running footwear and apparel, we share these values and look forward to supporting the Two Oceans Marathon to come back stronger than ever.”

As part of its support for the sport of running, Totalsports also sponsors the Phantane running club, promoting the development of elite athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds. Members of the club who are expected to participate in the 2022 Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon include KZN marathon champion Bonginkosi Zwane and 2:11 marathoner Sboniso Sikhakhane, who will both run the 56km  ultramarathon, and Mbuleli Mathanga will tackle the half marathon.

“Totalsports wishes all runners in this year’s Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon a successful, enjoyable and exciting race,” says Stein.