The Milky Way Marathon - An Experience Under The Stars

We are excited to announce a new venue for the Milky Way Marathon in 2024. We were looking for a venue closer to Cape Town with similar dark skies to that of Sutherland and found the perfect site. At an altitude of 1100m, Leeuwenboschfontein offers an extraordinary view of the night sky that is nearly free from light pollution. From the vantage point of 33°S latitude, you will be able to see the beautiful constellations, stars and galaxies of the southern hemisphere, and marvel at the Milky Way spanning overhead.

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Why this race?

In our rushed lives we just don't slow down enough and enjoy our surroundings. We are too busy for sunset drinks. We don't stop for a sunrise...segments, meetings, phone calls all chasing us to keep BUSY. The MWM will slow you down. It will force you to turn off your headlamp and look UP at the beautiful stars. The race only starts in the afternoon, so you will run with the sun setting in the distance and you'll finish with a blanket of stars above you...an experience you will never forget.

There will be a "Dark Zone" where you turn off your headlamp, follow the glow sticks and be guided by the Milky Way.

Leeuwenboschfontein is less than 200km from Cape Town and it is a perfect weekend getaway. There is a variety of accommodation options available, including camping (for the brave). Leeuwenboschfontein has a dark sky (Bortle 2) and very minimal light pollution.

The run will have a scattered start during the afternoon, after the sun warmed up the crisp Karoo air. Different groups will be set off, depending on your estimated marathon pace. The aim would be for all to see the sun setting in the west as you drop down into the valley after tagging the highest peak (1418m) in the area. Approximately 10km would be run in the dark, as the sky lights up with the Milky Way above. You will be welcomed back at the finish line with a cosy fire, a hearty meal and a glass of wine (or hot chocolate).

Marathon:
There will be a scattered start from 14:00 to 16:00. Your start time will be determined by your marathon/half marathon pace. Faster runners will start last.

Half Marathon:
There will be a group start for the half marathon at 17:00

Compulsory Kit:
Headlamp
Rain Jacket
Beanie or buff
Gloves
Fleece/warm top
Space Blanket
Whistle
Water/hydration pack
Charged phone


Not allowed:
Strip headlamp (too many have failed even on our 10km events and are not deemed reliable at night)