Organisers of the iconic Comrades Marathon will stage the world’s largest virtual event – Race The Comrades Legends – this Sunday, 14 June 2020.
The cancellation of the race due to the Covid-19 pandemic was a massive blow to the sporting calendar.
The next best thing to the real race
However, runners are now able to participate in the virtual event by entering various distance categories.
Entrants can run their favourite route, whether it’s on their property, on a treadmill or on the open road. By doing so, they will also be able to ‘Race the Comrades Legends’.
The CMA’s ‘Race The Comrades Legends’ is a running concept based on the stories of the greatest Comrades Legends in history.
The official Comrades Marathon website will include functionality that allows runners to compete virtually and run with and compare their times against the likes of Bruce Fordyce, Frith van der Merwe, Samuel Tshabalala and several others.
Run with the reigning champs
Each participant creates their personal story and, on completion, will earn a real medal. Reigning Comrades Marathon 2019 champions, Edward Mothibi and Gerda Steyn have confirmed that they will be competing in the 2020 virtual event.
With the entry tally nearing 20,000, the CMA is doing all it can to ensure that ‘Race the Comrades Legends’ is The Ultimate Virtual Race.
It hopes the initiative will create a sense of camaraderie for athletes within their social space, adding value to running clubs and the running scene; and helping raise funds for the charitable sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The world’s most inclusive virtual race
The event has attracted both Comrades winners and recreational runners, with participants from around the world signing up for what promises to be the world’s most inclusive virtual race, hosted by the organisers of the world’s greatest ultra-marathon.
Mothibi, who is a Clerk at the Impala Platinum Mine, claimed his inaugural victory in last year’s Comrades Marathon Up Run in a time of 5:31:33.
“I will be running the 21km in next Sunday’s ‘Race The Comrades Legends’. I have not been training properly with the lockdown regulations, so I will enjoy a casual run at a leisurely pace. With this being a virtual race, I will probably run my favourite route around where I live in Freedom Park in Platinum Village, Rustenburg. I will see who I can run with and make it a social experience and ensure that we adhere to social distancing norms and respect the rules. I am excited about this ‘Race The Comrades Legends’ because it is these legends who have inspired us to run the Comrades Marathon.”
Steyn, who is currently in Dubai, stunned the nation with her record-breaking Comrades Up Run victory after finishing in 5:58:53. She will also participate in the 21km event.
“After the cancellation of just about all running events, it is great that we can participate in this virtual race. The ‘Race The Comrades Legends’ will provide us with the opportunity to run with our friends and be a part of it, wherever we are. Running in Dubai’s challenging conditions will not be easy but I will run with a small group of friends which is allowed. I will run along my favourite route around The Greens, which is close to the Arabian Gulf. I will run at my Comrades pace but it will definitely be a social run rather than anything else.”
South African runners who have entered the 2020 Comrades Marathon get a free entry into ‘Race The Comrades Legends’. Entries close 14 June 2020. The virtual race could be the biggest one yet and stands a chance to make history. Click here for more information and to enter.