Revised cut-off time for Isavel Roche-Kelly Medal

athletics11 March 2024 08:45| © SuperSport
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© Comrades Marathon

The Isavel Roche-Kelly medal was introduced in 2019 for any women who finished outside the Top 10 but broke seven and a half hours. This effectively meant that no woman was able to win a silver medal henceforth.

Fast forward to 2024 to the Comrades Marathon Association’s Heritage & Traditions Committee’s recommendation to the CMA Board to have the Isavel Roche-Kelly medal cut-off at seven hours and its subsequent approval.

Women will now stand the chance of earning the coveted Comrades silver medal if they so wish.

Isavel Roche-Kelly made an indelible mark on The Ultimate Human Race. Such was her contribution to the world’s biggest and oldest ultra-marathon, that the only medal named after a woman is the one bearing her name.

CMA Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo says, “It was with a sense of excitement that we announced the inclusion of the Isavel Roche-Kelly Medal to the Comrades Marathon medal collection five years ago. I am pleased to say that after much deliberation, the CMA Board took the decision to review the cut-off time for this medal this year and revised it to seven hours rather than the original 7h30.”

Ngcobo adds, “In line with the CMA’s strategic objective of attracting greater women’s participation in The Ultimate Human Race, this medal, the revised cut-off time and everything that Isavel Roche-Kelly stood for, could not be more relevant at this time in the Comrades Marathon story. We are committed to honouring the participation and contribution of women to The Ultimate Human Race.”

The Isavel Roche-Kelly Medal is the women’s equivalent of the Wally Hayward Medal, which is awarded to those male athletes who finish outside the gold medals, but under 6 hours i.e. Position 11 to sub 6 hours.

Going forward, the Isavel Roche-Kelly medal, specifically for females, will be awarded to those women finishing in Position 11 to sub 7 hours; i.e. outside the gold medals, but under seven hours, and exactly like the coveted Wally Hayward Medal it will be comprised of ½ Silver/ ½ Gold.