Comrades Marathon to take proactive steps to address 2024 race concerns

athletics11 June 2024 11:40
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Comrades Marathon finisheline © Getty Images

The 97th running of the Comrades Marathon which took place on Sunday, 9 June 2024 was, by most accounts an enormous success.

Race and Operations Manager, Ann Ashworth has indicated that hundreds of runners and spectators have been in contact with the office to offer their thanks and congratulations on the hosting of an exciting, innovative, and upgraded Up Run event.

Notwithstanding this, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is also aware of, and has received a number of complaints concerning, certain issues which did not go according to plan. These issues include:

1. The short supply of runner goodie bags to the Durban Registration;

2. The late arrival of the buses tasked with the transportation of athletes from the finish area to Durban as part of the Runner’s Bus Service;

3. The tremendous traffic congestion on the N3 highway as well as in the areas immediately surrounding the finish venue;

4. The late collection of general waste and recyclables from the refreshment stations located in the second half of the race route; and

5. The short supply of Robert Mtshali medals to athletes finishing between 9h00 and 9h59.

Ashworth has given her assurance to all runners and spectators that a full investigation will be made into the cause of these challenges and that steps will be taken to address and resolve all complaints as soon as possible. For example:

1. A top up medal order will be placed for any athlete who did not receive a medal at the finish during the course of today and, once received, will be couriered to all affected athletes;

2. The CMA’s supplier of goodie bags will be contacted regarding the short delivery of product and every effort will be made to locate and distribute all missing and/or unaccounted for goodie bag stock;

3. A new portfolio within the Race Organising Committee will be established ahead of next year’s race, the sole responsibility of which will be to anticipate and address any parking and traffic concerns expected to occur on race day;

4. All waste collection agencies appointed by the CMA have been sent out onto the race route this morning to finalise all clean-up operations; and

5. A debrief will be scheduled with the providers of the Runners Bus Service to understand what went wrong and what steps can be put in place to ensure that runners are not left stranded and waiting at future races.

Ashworth has apologised unequivocally for any oversights, errors and inconvenience caused to runners and spectators at this year’s race. The CMA will do its utmost to resolve all outstanding issues before the end of next week.