29 November 2013
Entries for the 2014 Comrades Marathon will close at the end of business on Friday, a day earlier than had been planned because the cap of 18 000 runners has been reached ahead of schedule.
In recent years the cap has been implemented for logistical and organisational purposes; the race has been oversubscribed since 2009.
Online and in-house entries at the Comrades Marathon offices in Pietermaritzburg will close at 16:30 on Friday. However, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) General Manager Chris Bruwer said: “We will still accept postal entries, but they must be postmarked by the Post Office with [the] date of 29 November 2013. Entries made after this date will be rejected.”
Since a massive entry in 2010, when the Guinness World Records recognised the Comrades Marathon as the biggest ultra-marathon in the world, and the event was named the winner of the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards for South Africa’s “Best Sport Participation Event”, there has been a heightened interest in the race, which was first run in 1921.
The 2010 race, which benefited from the excitement surrounding the 2010 Fifa World Cup, had 23 568 entries, with 14 343 runners finishing before the 12-hour cut-off time.
The iconic road running race enjoys recognition as Africa’s oldest marathon and ultra-marathon at the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
Next year’s event will be the 89th running of the Comrades Marathon. It was only during the Second World War, in the years from 1941 to 1945, that it was not held.
Pietermaritzburg will host the start of next year’s Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 1 June. Competitors are allowed up to 12 hours to reach the finish in Durban.
The defending men’s champion will be South African Claude Moshiywa, while Elena Nurgalieva, the defending women’s champion, will have an opportunity to match Bruce Fordyce’s nine wins in the race.
SAinfo reporter and Comrades Marathon