The Comrades Marathon has been cancelled for the first time in 75
years, with Athletics South Africa (ASA) confirming on Thursday that
the annual ultra-marathon had been called off.
The 89km ‘down’ run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban had been
scheduled for June 14, and while organisers had hoped to postpone the
race until later this year, they admitted the situation remained unpredictable due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is no telling what is yet to come,” said Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) chairperson Cheryl Winn.
“As CMA, it is incumbent upon us to prioritise the health, safety and
well-being of our athletes, volunteers and stakeholders.”
While local entrants would not receive a refund of their registration fee, they would be given race t-shirts and goodie bags, as well as Comrades badges.
Foreign runners’ entries would be deferred to 2021 or 2022.
“We thank each of our runners, supporters, volunteers and our incredible supports for their patience, fortitude and steadfast support over the past two months, during which we have wrangled with this difficult decision,” Winn said.
The 2021 Comrades Marathon would be a ‘down’ run, celebrating the centenary of the race, which was first held in 1921.