2010 is going to be an incredibly important year for the South African nation and it comes with no surprise that the Comrades Marathon Association prepared themselfes in time with extra organisational announcements:
The Comrades Marathon Association, like all other South African sports organization, are looking forward with much anticipation to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which promises to be the biggest sporting extravaganza ever staged in this country. Given that the Comrades Marathon will be presented just a matter of days before the start of the World Cup, the CMA has positioned its 2010 race as an ideal opportunity for runners and others involved in the race to become part of the wave of excitement that will be sweeping the country at that time.
Much like the 2000 race, which saw over 24 000 people joining in the millennium celebrations and taking to the road between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, organisers expect the 2010 Comrades to have a similar impact.
For this reason, plus the fact that it will be the 85th running of the race, the CMA is gearing up for the biggest, most spectacular and most exciting Comrades since 2000.
Looking back at 2000, the CMA has decided to cap the overall entry level at 20 000 runners. This has been done in order to avoid logistical problems and congestion of the route.
Also learning from the 2000 experience, when numerous previous Comrades runners returned to the race, it has been decided to encourage previous finishers, including 2009 runners, to come back to the race as part of the 2010 celebration. To underline this objective, the first 15 000 entry slots have been reserved for these specific runners.
Furthermore, entries for the 2010 race will open far earlier than normal to accommodate this large field, and it has also been decided that the period September to November 2009, will be set aside for previous runners only, with novice entries only opening up after that. Thus the CMA encourages anyone who plans to run in 2010 – novices and previous finishers alike – to run in 2009 in order to secure their qualification and entry the following year.
2010 novices without a previous Comrades finish will be able to qualify during the period immediately after the 2009 race, up to the closing date for the 2010 race, but will have to enter early to secure one of the remaining 5 000 places on offer.
Given the significance of 2010, everyone finishing that year will be presented with a special 85th Comrades/World Cup 2010 commemorative race medal.
In another break with tradition, it has been decided that 2010 will be another “down run”, meaning that there will be two such runs in succession. As a result, the CMA is offering 2009 novices the opportunity to come back in 2010 and collect a once-off “Back-to-Back Double-Down” medal, never before offered in the race.
In years to come, South Africans will look back on 2010 as a major landmark in the history of South Africa. The Comrades Marathon offers runners – both past finishers and novices alike – the opportunity to take an active part in this historical occasion.