The Comrades Marathon. Photo: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency/ANA
The Comrades Marathon. Photo: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency/ANA

Comrades Marathon encourages runners to join virtual race

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Jun 10, 2020

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Cape Town - In an interesting twist, professional runners and marathon enthusiasts will be able to enjoy participating in a marathon, although with changes.

Organisers of one the world’s greatest ultra-marathons, the Comrades Marathon will, on Sunday, host the world’s largest virtual marathon, Race The Comrades Legends.

Budding and professionals runners will be able to challenge the times and race against Comrades legends including Bruce Fordyce, Frith van der Merwe and Samuel Tshabalala.

Spokesperson Mellisa Verhave said Race The Comrades Marathon was an attempt by the organisation to bring to life a globally recognised sporting event that had to be cancelled in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Although expected, the cancellation of the physical ultra-marathon was a massive blow to the sporting calendar,” she said.

Verhave said participants who had already begun to prepare for the marathon now had the chance to participate in an exciting race.

“Runners can look forward to participating in a marathon, joined by thousands of other runners across the country and some overseas who are also set to participate in the virtual event.”

Upon registration, participants will be able to choose their own route and distance from a variety of categories. The event will allow participants to run either outdoors, indoors or on a treadmill.

Among the runners will be last year’s two champions Gerda Steyn and Edward Mothibi, who have confirmed their registration.

Steyn said she was looking forward to competing.

“The Comrades Marathon is such a big part of my life and I’m looking forward to being a part of Race the Comrades Legends virtual event this weekend.

“Edward and I will both be running the 21km distance on Sunday and we look forward to representing and encouraging more runners to participate,” said Steyn.

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