The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) recently announced the decision to cancel the 2021 staging of the Comrades Marathon due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The CMA Board has regrettably announced its decision to cancel the Comrades Marathon Centenary Race scheduled for 13 June 2021, owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” said the CMA in a statement.
CMA chairperson, Cheryl Winn has urged runners to accept and respect the CMA’s decision which has been made in conjunction with KZNA, ASA, and government restrictions, and most importantly, with the utmost regard for the health and welfare of athletes, volunteers, and all the other stakeholders.
In 2020, the event was cancelled for the first time since World War 2. As one of Athletics SA’s (ASA) largest forms income, the Comrades Marathon cancellation will come as another heavy blow for the sporting body. In 2019, the race reportedly earned R700m.
This year’s staging of the event would have been the 95th edition, and would start in Pietermaritzburg and finish in Durban.
The CMA was also formed in 1921, meaning it will be celebrating its centenary this year. Last week, the Two Oceans Marathon scheduled for April was also cancelled due to Covid-19.
SA’s Gerda Steyn will once again be forced to put her title defence on ice, as she is the defending champion in both the Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans Marathon. In fact, Steyn is going for three in a row in the Two Oceans Marathon after taking victory in 2018 and 2019.