Streaming issues? Report here
Bongani Bingwa 702 Gradient Bongani Bingwa 702 Gradient
Breakfast with Bongani Bingwa
06:00 - 09:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: The Eusebius McKaiser Show
See full line-up
Breakfast with Bongani Bingwa
06:00 - 09:00

Home
arrow_forward
Sport

2020 Comrades Marathon cancelled due to coronavirus

14 May 2020 12:26 PM
Tags:
Coronavirus
2020 Comrades Marathon
This means that the Comrades 2021 will now be the 95th edition of the Ultimate Human Race, starting from the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 5.30 am and finishing 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

CAPE TOWN - Following long discussions with the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) board and KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA), Athletics South Africa(ASA) has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Comrades Marathon.

On Thursday, ASA president Aleck Skhosana said: “Cancelling what would have been the 95th edition of the Comrades Marathon was a long and arduous decision to make. With the race’s rich history, its powerful nation-building attributes and contribution towards social cohesion, as well as its immense economic impact, it would have been premature to rush into an outright cancellation sooner. However, we believe we have jointly arrived at the correct decision to protect the health and safety of all concerned as well as the lives of our fellow South Africans.”

CMA chairperson Cheryl Winn also explained that: “It is with profound sadness and regret that the CMA board, in conjunction with ASA and KZNA, had to make this decision. We do so with the knowledge that it will come as a great disappointment to thousands of Comrades runners, who together with us at CMA, have been holding out hope that the race would somehow proceed.

“We had hoped to postpone the Ultimate Human Race to a date not later than end of September (owing to climatic conditions), but alas with the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating and anticipated to peak in the coming months, there is no telling what is yet to come. As CMA, it is incumbent upon us to prioritise the health, safety and well-being of our athletes, volunteers and stakeholders and therefore lamentably we will not be staging this year’s edition of the country’s leading road running event.”

Jay Reddy, KZN Athletics administrator, added: “In this difficult time, which has seen the historic cancellation of one of KZNA’s flagship events, let us not succumb to despair, disappointment, and acceptance that we are victims of this pandemic. Let us rather celebrate that as athletes and other role players, we are sacrificing one of our major races in the knowledge that we are serving the interests of humanity. As KZNA we stand united in our endeavour to overcome the devastating consequences of this disease. We call upon all our members and associates to engage in strategies to address the broader issues of the environment and the pressing needs of our people in the true spirit of the Comrades. We urge our athletes to continue to observe the COVID-19 regulations, engage in activity responsibly, and take every precaution to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Winn reassured runners on a number of practical issues, advising that CMA will deal with the roughly 2,500 foreign and 25,000 South African entries received for the 2020 Comrades Marathon as follows:

  • With regard to South African entrants (based on the assumption that all entrants would have eventually qualified to participate in the race), every South African entrant (including the 485 who entered during the recent substitution period) will not be refunded their entry fee but will instead receive their #Comrades2020 Mr Price Sport runners T-shirt and goodie bag, as well as a Comrades badge and flash. The details of the distribution process will be made available in due course in terms of the national lockdown restrictions. For logistical reasons, this will apply to South African entries only.
  • With regard to foreign entrants, in lieu of the cancellation, all foreign entries will be deferred to #Comrades2021 and/or #Comrades2022, depending upon the athletes’ wishes. In addition, foreign athletes will also have the option of availing their 2020 entry for substitution in 2021 only.
  • With regard to Back-to-Back Medals, those runners who completed their first Comrades Marathon on the 2019 Up Run to Pietermaritzburg will qualify for the Back-to-Back Medal upon completion of the 2021 Comrades Marathon Down Run.

This means that the Comrades 2021 will now be the 95th edition of the Ultimate Human Race, starting from the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 5.30 am and finishing 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It will be the 47th Down Run, which will also celebrate the Centenary of the Comrades Marathon Association, which was founded on 24th May 1921.

Exactly 80 years ago, Comrades Marathon organisers faced a similar dilemma in deciding whether to stage the 20th Comrades Marathon some eight months into the conflagration of World War II. At the last moment, it was decided to go ahead with just 23 starters, following the withdrawal of many runners who had been mobilised for the war effort. Only 10 runners completed the 1940 Comrades Marathon.

The following year, the race was cancelled and remained so for the duration of the war (1941 - 1945), as the organisers, runners, and supporters stood in solidarity with all those who suffered the horrors and atrocities of war, similar to that of the World War 1, which had inspired the Comrades Marathon’s humble beginnings.

“We thank each of our runners, supporters, volunteers and our incredible sponsors for their patience, fortitude and steadfast support over the past two months during which we have wrangled with this difficult decision. Sad as it is, as CMA we can now turn our focus towards the staging of our Centenary Celebrations next year in the comfort of knowing we can rely on the passionate loyalty and participation of so many. With reference to the inspirational theme of the cancelled edition Iphupho Lami/Dare to Dream, hope is a dream deferred,” concluded Winn.


This article first appeared on EWN : 2020 Comrades Marathon cancelled due to coronavirus


14 May 2020 12:26 PM
Tags:
Coronavirus
2020 Comrades Marathon

More from Sport

190916-psl-logo-edjpg

Absa ends sponsorship of PSL

4 June 2020 11:58 AM

"While we will no longer be the anchor sponsor for the PSL, soccer will always remain close to our hearts."

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Chanel Simmonds

#ExtraTime with SA tennis star Chanel Simmonds

3 June 2020 12:11 PM

In #ExtraTime, South Africa’s top-ranked female tennis player Chanel Simmonds speaks to us about life as a professional, meeting Billie Jean King and how she would like to see the sport grow on home soil.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

thapelogif

Morena and Sirino sign 5-year deals with Sundowns

2 June 2020 12:49 PM

Earlier this year the defending Absa Premiership champions secured the services of coach Pitso Mosimane and captain Hlompho Kekana after both signed new four-year contracts.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

nathi-mthethwa-briefing-30-maypng

Contact and non-contact sport training to resume. Golfers, surfers seek clarity

30 May 2020 12:48 PM

Professional rugby and soccer teams can resume training under Level 3, says Sport Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

mthethwajpg

[WATCH] Sports Minister gives details on Level 3 lockdown regulations

30 May 2020 10:29 AM

Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has updated the nation on the resumption of non-contact sport.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

202004005netballsapresidentjpg

#ExtraTime with Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane

28 May 2020 8:00 PM

In today’s edition of Extra Time, we speak to Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane about her many years in the sport, and some of the exciting plans she has as the World Cup approaches.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Sibusiso Vilane.jpg

History-making climber Sibusiso Vilane still haunted by his Mandela challenge

28 May 2020 4:21 PM

Sibusiso Vilane knows a thing or two about facing a storm. His historic ascent of Mount Everest in 2003 was filled with them, but he pushed through and climbed many more peaks.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

191001dorettegif

#ExtraTime with SA netball coach Dorette Badenhorst

25 May 2020 7:09 PM

In this week's edition of #ExtraTime, we focus our attention on netball, and we speak to national team coach Dorette Badenhorst who takes us through her journey in the sport.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Caitlin Rooskrantz

#ExtraTime with top SA gymnast Caitlin Rooskrantz

22 May 2020 2:50 PM

In the latest instalment of #ExtraTime, we speak to South Africa's star gymnast Caitlin Rooskrantz who opens up about her 12-year journey to the top, and what qualifying for the Olympic Games means to her.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

160927-Richard-GloverED.jpg

#ExtraTime with Tennis SA CEO Richard Glover

21 May 2020 1:56 PM

The latest instalment of #ExtraTime sees EWN Sport catch up with Tennis South Africa CEO Richard Glover, to talk about the growth of the sport – and about working for Arsenal FC many years.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward