In the interests of Comrades runners health and wellbeing, Comrades Race Doctor, Dr Jeremy Boulter has recommended that athletes participate in the SEMLI international research study in collaboration with World Athletics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA, World Rugby and a number of other national and international research institutions: The AWARE (Athlete With Acute Respiratory infEction) Research Study.


Please note that participation is for any runner, healthy or ill in the last 6 months, is purely voluntary and will not affect the runner’s participation in future Comrades Marathons.


Due to the novelty of COVID-19, we do not know much about its effect on athletes in particular. The AWARE Study aims to understand more about the nature and severity of common respiratory tract and COVID-19 infections in athletes, how often these infections occur and the impact of these infections on athletes as they return to training and competition.


Participation is for all runners involves the completion of a single questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask if you had no symptoms of illness in the last 6 months or if you had a respiratory tract infection (any flu-like illness), including COVID-19 in the past 6 months. Based on your answer, you will be asked to complete some or all of the sections of the questionnaire including some details about yourself, your general health, training history, and details about your infection, return to training after your infection and remaining health concerns (if applicable).  Upon completion of the questionnaire, you will get access to SEMLI’s guidelines on returning to sport after a respiratory tract infection (including COVID-19).


Please click on this link to get the full details of the study and to give consent if you are willing to participate in the study. You will then be able to complete the questionnaire: