Two more of South Africa’s popular mass sports events have been cancelled, as the 2020 season continues to crumble under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon – the only World Athletics Gold Label contest in Africa – confirmed on Tuesday that the 42.2km road race had been called off.
The race, which was expected to incorporate the SA Marathon Championships, was scheduled to be held on October 20.
“We know that it will come as a great disappointment to thousands of runners who were looking forward to the race,” said Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana.
“However, the decision had to prioritise the health and safety of all involved, as well as the lives of all South Africans.”
Entrants would have the option to receive a refund of their registration fee or donate it to charity, while organisers confirmed a virtual race would be held in place of the live event.
Meanwhile, with amateur sports events still suspended under level three national lockdown regulations, organisers revealed this year’s Fish River Canoe Marathon had also been called off.
The race, which was set to host the SA K1 and K3 River Championships, had been scheduled to be held between September 25-26.
“There is no indication when mass participation events and functions
will be able to start, or what the protocols will be,” said Roy Copeman, chairperson of the organising committee.
“Given the scale and budget of the Fish, and the impact that it has on so many spheres of the Cradock community, we had to make a decision now. We strongly believe our solution is the one that benefits our paddlers the most.”
The organising committee hoped to hold a “social” Fish River race later in the year if restrictions were sufficiently lifted.