Athletics

Threat of protest action sees late change to Two Oceans route

Two Oceans Marathon logo (File)
Two Oceans Marathon logo (File)

Cape Town - The "real and credible" threat of protest action in the Hout Bay Imizamo Yethu informal settlement area has necessitated a late change to the 2019 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) route.

Saturday's race, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, will now be diverted over Ou Kaapse Weg, cutting out the Chapman's Peak, Hout Bay and Constantia Nek sections of the race.

The route will see runners tackle Southern Cross Drive before joining Rhodes Drive for the final 8km to the finish on the University of Cape Town (UCT) fields.

The decision was taken following a high-level meeting between police and race organisers late on Thursday night.

The Relay Race which was a late inclusion into the programme, has been cancelled. According to unconfirmed reports, those who had entered the relay will be accommodated into the Half Marathon - which will go ahead as planned.

A statement from the officials said disruptions along the route were a "real and credible threat to event safety".

The Ultra route will remain at 56km and is still expected to start at 06:40.

The full Two Oceans Ultra Marathon route diversion media release received on Thursday:

Today, following the South African Police Services Priority Meeting for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, scheduled for Saturday 20 April 2019, the OMTOM NPC Board has been informed that disruptions along the Ultra Marathon route, are a credible and real threat to Event safety.

The Two Oceans Marathon NPC has, after comprehensive and careful consideration, implemented a route diversion for the 56km Ultra Marathon. While this diversion affects the Ultra Marathon, it effectively also negates the possibility of hosting what would have been our inaugural Relay, meaning that there will be no Relay Race.

Given the constraints on numbers, we will communicate personally with all Relay participants.

The Half Marathon route remains unaffected, as do the four separate start times.

The TOM NPC has reached this decision after having had extensive discussions with all stakeholders including the South African Police Services, the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, the City of Cape Town, Disaster Management Services, Provincial Emergency Medical Services and Cape Town Traffic.

A roll-out plan is in place to communicate this decision regarding the alternative route taking runners through Ou Kaapse Weg and not along Chapmans Peak.

We are confident that this route deviation will still live up to the promise of our milestone 50th marathon celebrations.

We will consistently update you of the progress.

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