In their last update on 23 December 2020, the Two Oceans Marathon organisers indicated that they were monitoring the surge in the coronavirus pandemic nationally and the further restrictions this would have on sporting events and the Two Oceans Marathon 2021 that was due to be held on 13 April.
The organisers have continued with planning Two Oceans Marathon 2021 in different formats and reduced numbers, applying international best practice to ensure the safety of the runners participating in the Two Oceans Marathon 2021.
As the pandemic continues across South Africa and the UK, The TOM organisers have continued to consult extensively with their stakeholders, Athletics South Africa and Western Province Athletics, as well as the medical team on the best way forward.
Guided by the advice from the medical team and Two Oceans Marathon chief medical officer, Dr Adrian Rotunno, the Two Oceans Marathon NPC is deeply saddened to announce that the 2021 Two Oceans Marathon, scheduled to take place on 3 April 2021, is cancelled.
“The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa is affecting a larger proportion of the population than the first wave and placing a severe burden on the health system. The potential risk of a third wave in the coming months cannot be discounted. The health and safety of all competitors, stakeholders, and running community as a whole, is paramount, and given the current pandemic climate, the health risks around hosting the TOM mass participation event are far too significant for the event to proceed safely. Under guidance from global evidence-based practice, only hosting a full-scale physical event once the health situation has improved to acceptable levels for all is unfortunate, but necessary.” – Dr. Adrian Rotunno, Two Oceans Marathon chief medical officer.
A postponement of TOM 2021 to the second half of the year was considered thoughtfully, but it is not feasible given the general uncertainty due to talk of third and fourth COVID-19 waves, and the already congested event calendar during that period.
“It is never pleasant when an event like this is disrupted and which in turn, affects the fixture calendar and the many athletes who are already planning for that day. However, it is even more painful to us when an event of this magnitude is forced to be cancelled. Unfortunately, the pandemic knows no bounds and as we comment, no one knows when it will be put under control or even be eliminated, if at all. We have consulted with Athletics South Africa regarding the race. Western Province Association and the organisers eventually took this final decision after taking into consideration the many factors in the management of the event and the current behaviour of the virus.” − Jakes Jacobs, President of Western Province Athletics.
The Two Oceans Marathon team are planning alternative events and programmes to be hosted, within the prevailing regulations. We will announce these exciting plans soon.
“It is unfortunate that the much anticipated Two Oceans Marathon 2021 will not be taking place this year. However, in these unprecedented times safety, indeed, does come first. As we collectively tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and proactively respond to its subsequent regulations, although not an easy decision to have been taken, the Western Cape Government thanks the Two Oceans Marathon team for assisting us to safely move forward in the region. We also express our gratitude to all stakeholders for innovatively focusing on increasing safety and creating opportunities to augment the code of athletics during these trying times as we navigate to and through our new norm in the sector. While we are to be physically distanced, we are still socially connected, and in that spirit, I wish the Two Oceans Marathon team well in their programmes to come and look forward to future events when it is safe to do so,” − Minister Anroux Marais, MEC Cultural Affairs and Sport, Western Cape
The Two Oceans Marathon NPC expresses their heartfelt thanks to the running community for their ongoing support and for keeping the spirit of running alive during this challenging time around the world.
There are plans to have some sort of event this year, maybe virtual, but the Two Oceans organisers have not elaborated on this yet. We look forward to bringing you more on this as well as the dates and planning for Two Oceans Marathon 2022.