Comrades Marathon

Since 1984 spectators and television audiences have been brought closer to the Comrades Marathon than ever before with specialised access ways and temporary structures sponsored by Form-Scaff.

Every year organisers from the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) in association with Form-Scaff technical staff, work tirelessly to make the start and finish venues uniquely “Comrades”, while transforming them into spectacular venues for spectators and TV viewers alike.

As one of the world’s oldest and most recognised ultra-distance races on the planet, Comrades is a legendary South African event that has grown to become a symbol of unity and hope for nations across the globe. It is therefore fitting that Form-Scaff, a truly South African company and world leader in its own field, sponsors and supports this race.

Jeff Minnaar of the CMA has overseen more than 40 Comrades Marathon finish events and says that the generosity and expertise that the company has brought to the race has transformed the event from an above-average competitive road-race, to become a true spectacle with stage shows on either-end that are fitting of one of the greatest races of all.

“We are eternally grateful for the ongoing sponsorship and technical assistance we receive from Form-Scaff. Not only does the company provide viewing areas for spectators and stages for VIPs and participants, but they also provide advertising space for the sponsors who effectively keep the race going.

“I must add that after 30 years it is apleasure dealing with the company’s representatives. Their can-do attitudes and ability to build almost anything, or make modifications wherever we need them, gives us the confidence to be creative and try new things so that we are constantly pushing the envelope and improving on the previous years’ shows.

“This kind of relationship is not built over a short space of time. People like Cameron Bulter of Form-Scaff in Ballito and many others, are pillars that have been assisting us for so long that they are an integral part of the “Comrades Team”. This kind of involvement from Form-Scaff staff makes our jobs easier and allows us to bring the crowds closer to the action.

“For example, last year we introduced a three tiered viewing platform all the way down the main straight to the finish line. This allowed spectators to feel like they could touch the runners. We also introduced bigger and better prize-giving stands and VIP viewing platforms right where the action happens,” says Jeff.

According to Cameron Bulter, Form-Scaff Ballito branch manager, the company remains committed to the race and has custom built a substantial amount of material specifically for Comrades. These include access bridges that allow the organisers to maintain safety and security protocols while allowing the maximum amount of spectators close-up views of the finish line.

Altogether 80 tons of material is used for the start and finish extravaganzas with about 90 percent being dedicated to the finish point alone. “The majority of material we use is from our Kwik-Stage access material stock, as well as specially developed bridge structures that are solely used for the Comrades Marathon.

“There are also plenty of hook-on boards for sit-on, stand-on, presentation boards etc. Importantly for the organisers we supply enough advertising hoarding for the main sponsors to show their support and get maximum television and spectator exposure as well.

“To watch TV and see our banners is the ultimate thrill and is recognised by our customers as our contribution to a worthwhile cause. It is a big part of our social responsibility and one that we are proud to be associated with,” says Cameron.

He concludes that sister company, SGB Cape, also plays an important role in the build-up of the structures, supplying all the labour and some specialised equipment wherever it is required. In fact, the entire Waco Group is closely involved with the race and proud to be associated with one of the premier events on the world athletics calendar.

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