Comrades to look for dynamic new general manager after Fisher calls it quits

2018-09-19 06:02

WANTED: A general manager who is willing to work extremely hard in a dire economic climate and raise new commercial sponsorships for the organisation while protecting existing ones with life and limb.

That seems to be the gist of a new job advertisement that the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) will soon have to put out, following the surprise resignation of general manager Chris Fisher.

He has left the CMA offices in Pieter­maritzburg for “personal reasons” after a stint of three years there, but industry talk is that the CMA Board did not have a huge problem accepting Fisher’s resignation because of alleged performance issues.

These issues apparently centred on sponsorship matters, although CMA has been known to have it as tough as the next organisation in the poor economic climate.

When asked about the general manager’s situation, the CMA confirmed Fisher’s resignation, but gave no idea when the vacancy would be advertised.

However, they said the organisation was thriving and all current and future sponsors, along with the athletes, had nothing to worry about going forward.

“The CMA Board is handling the matter and I am not at liberty to say anything about it at present,” said CMA marketing manager Thami Vilakazi.

“Chris resigned for personal reasons and the board accepted that. They will determine when to advertise for a new general manager.”

He said that race director Rowan James had been asked to cover some of Fisher’s duties and that the organisation had no problem planning for the official launch of the 2019 edition of the world-famous ultra-marathon in Johannesburg next month. Fisher, who joined CMA in April 2015, could not be reached for comment yesterday, partly because Vilakazi said Fisher no longer possessed a CMA-linked cellphone.

The 94th running of the race will be held on Sunday, June 9, starting at the Durban City Hall at 5.30 am and ending at the Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg 12 hours later.

It will be the 48th Up Run and entries will open on Friday, Octo­ber 19.

The usual September 1 opening date was pushed back after some athletes complained they had missed the cut last year because they had planned to enter at the end of September with money earned at the end of that month but entries had been taken up in just three weeks.

However, the qualifying period for 2019 has been backdated to August 26 and runs until May 2, according to CMA.

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