March 1, 2024

Ann Ashworth appointed as new Comrades Marathon Race & Operations Manager

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has appointed former Comrades Marathon winner Ann Ashworth as their new Race & Operations Manager.

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Ashworth (39) who won the race in 2018 in 06:10:04, takes over from Rowyn James whose resignation as race director took effect on 1 October last month.  James was in the position since 2014.

The 2018 Down Run champion says she is “really excited” to take on the huge challenge that lies ahead but feels she has built up enough experience as an elite athlete to make a difference to the world-renowned ultra distance event.

“I have been following the race since I was three years old. So, I think being so close to the race my whole life can only be of benefit to the race and the team who have already set up something great. I was born in Zimbabwe but was raised in Howick which is about 20 minutes away from Pietermaritzburg.

“I am so looking forward to the journey ahead. Comrades has always been very close to my heart as an athlete and as a coach, but to have the opportunity to contribute towards the future growth and development of the race is truly extraordinary. It is an honour to be able to give back to the sport in this way.”

Ashworth holds a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. The admitted advocate, running coach and now retired elite ultra-distance athlete has some ideas and changes that she would like to make and co-ordinate with the team sbobet.

“I’ve run the race nine times and started 11, so I have quite a bit of experience actually running the race and I think that’s really helpful because I have quite a clear idea of what runners on the ground experiences have been, what their wishes are and any problems that may have arisen that maybe people who haven’t run the race are easily alive to.

“I also think as an elite athlete I have had a unique experience. Not to my knowledge has an elite athlete ever managed the Comrades Marathon and having someone being part of that elite race also gives me insight into the special needs and requirements of the elite athletes that perhaps haven’t been addressed in the past.

“I haven’t met with the team responsible for the finish yet. but it’s on my list of things to do. The finish will be at Scottsville Racecourse again like it was on the previous Up Run, but I am hoping to make some changes to the finish area to make it more runner and certainly more spectator friendly.

“It’s a team effort and obviously it’s something I would like to do as soon as possible. We will be discussing those changes over the next few days, and I am sure we will be able to make a few announcements at the race launch next week (Tuesday 7 November).

Ashworth ran the Comrades Marathon as gates of olympus recently as this year and says she would still like to come back to run her tenth Comrades for a charity in the future.

“In 2021 and 2022 I severely injured my back. Running longer than five hours has been problematic since then. I tried this year, despite my best efforts I felt it was time to retire as an elite athlete. Unfortunately, my back won’t allow me to run the way that I want to run anymore, but for now I will be supporting my husband who has supported all the years as an elite athlete,” she adds.

CMA Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo says, “We would like to welcome Ann Ashworth as the new Race & Operations Manager at the Comrades Marathon Association.

“Ann brings with her a wealth of experience and skills; and we look forward to leveraging her unique expertise towards achieving the Comrades Marathon’s strategic goals. Our vision as the CMA, coupled with her presentation on her vision for the future of The Ultimate Human Race, will no doubt take this iconic event to greater heights.”

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