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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Comrades Marathon: Police on high alert to ensure incident-free race

In the promotion of Employee Health and Wellness in the police force, over 200 officers will also take part in the Comrades Marathon.

As thousands of athletes descend to KwaZulu-Natal for the Comrades Marathon, police in the province will be on high alert and have put measures in place to ensure that it delivers an incident-free race.

The 96th down run Comrades Marathon will take place from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday, 11 June 2023.

Police presence

Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said officers have been deployed at strategic points along the Comrades’ route and other focus areas.

“Boots on the ground will be capacitated by air support which will monitor the event from the skies. Relevant departments have issued and communicated road closures from Saturday, 10 June 2023 until the cut-off time of the marathon on 11 June 2023.

“Motorists are urged to avoid the marathon route as well as other streets leading to the main route. No level of lawlessness will be tolerated and those who attempt to test the might of law enforcement agencies and the authority of the state will be met with the strict application of the law,” Netshiunda said.

ALSO READ: Title contenders: Top athletes to watch at the Comrades Marathon

Police athletes

Netshiunda added that in the promotion of Employee Health and Wellness in the police force, over 200 officers will take part in the Comrades Marathon.

“The Saps athletes will be out to improve their fitness and seek to better last years’ Saps Comrades Marathon time of six hours and 23 minutes.

“The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Fannie Masemola and the Provincial Commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi will host a special send-off session for the Saps athletes on Saturday, 10 June 2023 at the Durban Central Police Station at 08h30,” Netshiunda said.

No cheating

Meanwhile, organisers of the Comrades Marathon insist they will not put up with any form of cheating.

This comes after cracking down on Monday on 25 runners who had given themselves an unfair advantage ahead of the world’s largest ultra-marathon this weekend.

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) said all 25 runners, who supplied false qualifying information, would not be allowed to take part this weekend and had also been suspended from the race for the next two years.

ALSO READ: Cracking down on cheats: 25 athletes banned from Comrades Marathon

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