Thursday, 18 April 2013

Safety at the Comrades Marathon

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has sent a message of support to the organisers of the Boston Marathon, as well as the runners and families of the victims after the event was rocked by two bomb blasts on Sunday, 14 April 2013. 

In a statement released by the CMA, Chairman Dave Dixon, empathised with the organisers of the Boston Marathon, saying: “The CMA can identify with the myriad risk and safety challenges race directors all over the world face because of the nature of road races being mass-based events and generally supported by hundreds of thousands of supporters and spectators at the start and finish of the events, as well as along the race route.”

“These circumstances leave the events vulnerable to these kinds of attacks and makes it all the more challenging to stage and manage”, he added. 

In light of the concerns raised about the safety of runners at the upcoming Comrades Marathon, CMA Race Director Johan Van Staden has assured Comrades Marathon entrants that the CMA has a tried and tested security system in place to ensure the safety of all Comrades Marathon athletes, supporters and spectators during the 2013 Comrades Marathon.

“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”, he added.  The bomb sweep is carried out by the SA Police Services Bomb Squad.

Van Staden stated that “everyone is evacuated from the Start and Finish Venues of the Comrades Marathon from about 01:00 (am) on race day in order to conduct the bomb sweep. Thereafter, the premises are locked and guarded until control of the venue is handed over to the Head of the Comrades Marathon private security contractor, Bhejane Special Events Security.”

Van Staden went on to assure Comrades Marathon athletes, supporters and spectators alike that “the CMA will continue to work closely with the SA Police Services 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”.

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