The Sahara Marathon 2021, scheduled as every year for the last week of February, will not be held in the usual way due to the global COVID19 pandemic. The solidarity sport event that has brought together thousands of runners for more than twenty years in the Saharawi camps of Tindouf (Algeria) will not be able to count on the international expedition of athletes and companions from the five continents. The enormous international impact of the epidemic and global uncertainty make it impossible to guarantee the celebration of the event in a normal way. For this reason, the organizing committee of the Sahara Marathon has made the decision to not schedule the official trip that each year transport solidarity athletes to the camps. It is a painful decision, made out of responsibility, to avoid possible contagion and a further expansion of the pandemic. “As organizers, we cannot guarantee the health security of the participants, much less endanger the Saharawi refugees who, in addition to suffering the harsh conditions of their exile, now face this disease with added difficulties.”
Despite this circumstance, the organization is going to work on some special actions that help meet the two main objectives of this event: the spreading of the Sahrawi message throughout the world to prevent its cause from falling into oblivion and the collection of funds for humanitarian aid projects. Depending on the development of the situation in the camps, the Saharawi authorities will decide, if necessary, on the cancellation of the event or of its celebration with local participants.