As part of its Runners First initiative, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) will once again host its Underprivileged Runners Project over the Comrades weekend. CMA Marketing Manager, Thami Vilakazi says, “An important aspect of the Comrades Marathon’s vision is to retain its position as South Africa’s most inclusive sporting event and this entails accommodating runners across the socio-economic spectrum and affording them an opportunity to experience the camaraderie of being part of The Ultimate Human Race.”
The CMA have decided to initiate a programme whereby runners could apply to be housed and nourished prior to and after participating in the race. This saw the start of the CMA’s Underprivileged Runners Programme which was launched over a decade ago. Through the Underprivileged Runners Programme, the CMA will once again demonstrate its spirit of humanity by providing this support to needy runners wishing to participate in the 2017 Comrades Marathon.
The Comrades Marathon Association will be providing up to 800 runners with accommodation, a comfortable mattress and blankets for a good night’s rest, ablution facilities as well substantial meals on the evenings prior to and after the race.
There is no charge to the runners for this facility; however for planning and logistical purposes, runners who benefit from this programme are asked to apply early in the year. Spaces are limited, strictly needy runners will be accommodated. Transportation will be provided for runners collecting their race packs at the Durban Exhibition Centre on Saturday, 3 June to the venue in Pietermaritzburg where they will be accommodated and served a scrumptious dinner.
On race day, runners will be provided with breakfast and then transported to the start in Durban and back to the accommodation facility after the race. After the event, the CMA will donate the blankets and mattresses to various charity organisations in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.
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