POLL | Comrades hangs in the balance - will you continue training?

18 March 2020 - 11:16 By Cebelihle Bhengu
A file picture of runners finishing the gruelling Comrades Marathon.
A file picture of runners finishing the gruelling Comrades Marathon.

Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) chairperson Cheryl Winn on Tuesday asked Comrades runners to continue training as the date of the event remains set, for now.

The announcement followed a meeting of the CMA board on Monday. The marathon is set to take place on June 14. 

The board decided that should there be changes or possible postponements due to further spread of the virus, they will be announced on April 17.

This despite Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa  insisting the ultra-marathon would not go ahead, insisting the statements by CMA were "irresponsible."

The mixed messages have left many runners confused on whether to continue training or not. If you were planning to take on the Big C, will you continue training?

Winn said it was premature to postpone the event as it was still three months away. 

“We have to consider the best interest and wellbeing of our athletes‚ supporters‚ spectators‚ volunteers and the public. With 282 successful substitution applications having been processed since opening of the 2020 substitution period yesterday‚ we urge all Comrades runners to continue with their training preparations.”

Athletics SA postponed all athletics events scheduled for the next 30 days, with Cape Town's Two Oceans Marathon originally set to take place on April 11 already canned, TimesLIVE reported. 

The move has affected the training preparations of athletes hoping to take part in Comrades.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday that the number of individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 in SA had increased to 116. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday declared the virus a national state of emergency and announced controls and protective measures adopted by the government during a cabinet meeting.

These include a travel ban, which will prohibit foreigners from high risk countries entering SA. The ban takes effect from Wednesday.