Athletics body apologises for race bungle

Central Gauteng Athletics president James Moloi
Central Gauteng Athletics president James Moloi

Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) has apologised profusely amid a glut of complaints from the disgruntled runners who participated in the City to City Marathon last Sunday. 

The Pretoria-to-Johannesburg race was mired in controversy, mostly because of the water shortages during the run, with participants voicing their displeasure on social media platforms for most of this week. 

CGA president James Moloi told City Press this week the local organisation committee would take the positives out of the negatives. 

Moloi pointed out that not having a sponsor for the race had also negatively affected the tradition-steeped contest. 

Tshidiso Bosiu of Striders Athletic Club won the 50km run in a time of 2:53:46 while Cool Running Athletic Club’s Paulina Njeya took the women’s race in 3:34:40. 

“I apologise on behalf of the ­organising committee for the poor organisation of the race,” said Moloi. 

“We had enough water-delivery trucks on the day, but the problem was that they were all stationed at the same point instead of being at different intervals. The trucks struggled to penetrate the crowds to move to the other points.” 

There was also a huge outcry about the sizes of the T-shirts. 

“We were as frustrated as the runners because the supplier did not deliver according to the agreed schedule. Worse, the T-shirt sizes were not the normal sizes due to the delayed delivery.” 

Going forward, Moloi said – pending a postmortem – they would recommend an experienced events-management company to handle the marathon on their behalf in future. 

“We need experts in the form of an events-management company or an experienced club. We also need corporate sponsors to save the situation.” 

Without sponsorship, Moloi said they depended on entry fees to cover the costs of prize monies, T-shirts and medals. “The city services were covered in the form of metro police and the road agency. 

“For now, I am waiting for the race report and we’ll deliberate on it and improve on all the planning aspects that we got wrong on the day. While sponsorship is not always guaranteed, maybe in future we should just cut out other events such as the 10km and 21km and focus on the main race, given the shoe-string budget.” 

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