The Comrades moves to May

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Athletics South Africa and the Comrades Marathon Association have changed the dates of this ultra distance event to accommodate next year's Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

Dave Dixon, the association's chairman, said next year's Comrades will take place on May 24 and the following year on May 30.

Dixon said it would have been impossible for his association to go ahead with the marathon in June during the Confederations Cup and World Cup.

"The first World Cup match is on June 11 in 2010, so we simply cannot hold the Comrades during the month of June, as we normally do. It will be impossible to obtain the essential resources," he said.

"The SAPS and traffic authorities will be fully occupied attending to thousands of visitors, while most of the country's broadcast facilities will be tied up in the coverage of the football matches."

Leonard Chuene, ASA president, said they decided to come up with new dates for the two competitions to show their full support for soccer.

"We have to be patriotic. Going ahead with the Comrades Marathon in June in 2009 and 2010 would have created chaos in almost everything," Chuene said.

"We all know that every big event locally and globally, like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, depend on the volunteers to be a roaring success.

"We know that many South Africans will be registering as volunteers for the Confederations Cup and World Cup.

"We did not have a problem when the Comrades Marathon Association applied for a change of dates to accommodate football."