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Comrades Marathon postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

The Comrades Marathon, African's longest single-day road race at around 90km, is the world oldest and largest ultramarathon. Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The 2020 Comrades Marathon, which was set to be run on June 14, has been postponed indefinitely, as South Africa continues to be on lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The current lockdown, which prohibits leaving the house to run, cycle, or even walk one's dog, runs until April 30, having been extended from the original end date of April 16. Further lockdowns have not been ruled out as the country's numbers continue to rise.

As such, Athletics South Africa has extended their suspension of all athletics evens in the country until further notice, which included the iconic Comrades ultramarathon, which sees runners tackled the 89km (55 mile) course in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

ASA said in a statement on Friday: "We urge everyone to join hands with the Government to fight this pandemic by obeying regulations of the lockdown.

"The Comrades Marathon is therefore postponed from 14 June to a suitable date that will be determined between ASA, KZN Athletics and the Comrades Marathon Association as soon as conditions around the management of the virus allow us to under the guidance of the Government."

The Chairperson of the Comrades Marathon Association, Cheryl Winn, added: "We welcome the announcement by ASA, which includes the postponement of the 2020 Comrades which had been scheduled for 14 June.

"CMA's position is that there is no priority greater than the health, safety and welfare of our runners, volunteers, supporters, stakeholders and the lives of our fellow South Africans. Therefore, any decision on the eventual fate of the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be taken in conjunction with ASA and KZN Athletics.

"CMA also reiterated its advocacy for complete compliance with all regulations, guidelines and directives pertaining to the National State of Disaster, as well as pledging its total cooperation and support for ASA towards restoring some sort of equilibrium to the sport of athletics in South Africa in the coming weeks and months."