Athletics

Comrades ensures safe race

2013-04-17 19:09
Comrades Marathon logo (File)

Johannesburg - Sufficient security will be in place to protect runners and spectators at the Comrades Marathon, an 'up' run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in June, the organisers said in a statement.

Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) race director Johan van Staden said on Wednesday the annual 89km race had always had strict security measures in place.

"Over the last 20 years, the CMA has maintained stringent risk and safety measures to protect the event against any kind of disaster. A key measure entails a bomb sweep at the Comrades Marathon start and finish venues."

Van Staden said everyone was evacuated from the start and finish areas from about 1am on race day for the police's bomb squad to conduct the sweep.

Thereafter, the premises were locked and guarded until control of the venue was handed to the head of the CMA's private security contractor.

"The CMA will continue to work closely with SAPS and Bhejane Special Events Security to protect the Comrades Marathon against any kind of attack or activity that will jeopardise the safety of runners, supporters or spectators," Van Staden said.

CMA chairperson Dave Dixon sent a message of support to the organisers of the Boston Marathon, as well as the runners and families of the victims after two bomb blasts in Massachusetts on Monday.

Road races were risky because of the large numbers of people who took part and watched.

"These circumstances leave the events vulnerable to these kinds of attacks and makes it all the more challenging to stage and manage."

Read more on:    comrades  |  durban  |  pietermaritzburg  |  athletics
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