Following an urgent Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) board meeting to discuss the implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in South Africa and the subsequent postponement or cancellation of sporting events and mass gatherings in the country, the association has decided to hold off on making any definitive decisions for now.

“With nearly three months to go to Comrades 2020, the CMA Board has decided that it is premature to postpone this year’s Comrades Marathon,” says CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn.

“We will, however, continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will make a decision by 17 April, depending on how the situation evolves on whether to postpone Comrades 2020 to a date later in the year.”

No athletics for 30-day period

The decision comes after Athletics South Africa (ASA), under the auspices of which the Comrades Marathon is held, aligned itself with the National State of Disaster pronounced by President Cyril Ramaphosa by postponing with immediate effect all athletics events in the country at all levels for 30 days due to COVID-19.

ASA’s decision forms part of the strict measures imposed by the government to combat the virus, which has been described as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The decision includes the postponement of all school athletics, all club and provincial activities, including fun runs, Park Runs, road-running, cross country, trail running and track & field events, and the ASA championships.

Don’t stop training just yet

Under the ongoing guidance of the government on the virus, as well as ASA and KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA), the CMA Board will review the situation and advise Comrades athletes and stakeholders on the way forward, depending on the status of the virus in the country at the time.

We will make announcements and issue updates on an ongoing basis. As the CMA Board, we have to consider the best interest and well-being of our athletes, supporters, spectators, volunteers and the public,” adds Winn.

“We urge all Comrades runners to continue with their training preparations for the 95th edition of the Ultimate Human Race.”