Comrades Marathon 2010 – all the facts!

Posted on May 06, 2010 under Comrades Marathon | 1 Comment

The qualifying period for 2010 Comrades Marathon ended April 26th. For all other applicants it’s too late to sign up for the 85th comrades – the ultimate human race race in 2010.

The route distance for this years event is 89km. The 2010 Comrades Marathon is a “down run’, starting at the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg and finishing at the Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban.

  • Date: Sunday, 30 May 2010
  • Start: 05h30 at the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg
  • Finish: 17h30 at Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead in Durban
  • Distance: 89km – 56 miles
  • 23.656 people entered the race
  • The number of international participants is higher than ever: 1084 runners from 76 countries
  • Official Homepage

Comrades Route map

comrades marathon route map

General rules and information on the CMA homepage

Comrades Marathon on May 24th 2009

Posted on May 08, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 1 Comment

comrades marathonThe world’s greatest ultra-marathon, 90 kilometres long, the Comrades is a South African institution, internationally recognised for the body-sapping challenge it poses and the camaraderie it fosters among its thousands of participants. This year the world’s greatest ultramarathon and KwaZulu-Natal showpiece will be run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday 24 May 2009.”

“Comrades Marathon is an iconic event with a special place in the hearts and minds of South Africans, but they have come to expect it to be run in mid-June. “

This is the first time the race has been staged as early as May since 1995 when it was brought forward to avoid clashing with the Rugby World Cup hosted by South Africa in June 1995. Similarly the 2009 and 2010 Comrades Marathons have been brought forward to avoid clashing with the FIFA Confederations Cup (14 – 29 June 2009) and the FIFA World Cup (11 June – 11 July 2010) respectively.

With the race being staged three weeks earlier than usual, the Closing Date for Entries also had to be brought forward to 31 March 2009, thus falling ahead of several popular and traditional qualifying races. To accommodate this CMA implemented a special dispensation whereby prospective entrants must submit their entries by 31 March, but may still qualify in official qualifying races up until a final cut-off for qualifying on 28 April.

Race Director Renee Jordaan expressed cautious optimism regarding the field of entries for 2009 as there is potentially more at stake than just this year’s race. “Looking ahead to 2010 which coincides with the 85th running of the Comrades Marathon, CMA decided to cap the number of entries at 20,000 for 2010 and made a commitment to reserve the first 15,000 entries for previous Comrades finishers.” She urged runners to avoid possible double disappointment by meeting this year’s entry deadline.

“So far indications from attendance at our Comrades Marathon Worshops, as well as the increased fields participating in shorter races throughout South Africa, are that we should attract a large field this year. However, it’s always a bit of a waiting game with the majority of runners entering during the final few days before closing, after which we have six weeks to process entries and finalise logistical requirements for the race”, said Jordaan.

“In the meantime, groundwork for the staging of a memorable event is proceeding well according to schedule with an experienced and dedicated organising committee working to slightly tighter deadlines than usual,” said Boshoff.

On a historical note, 24 May is a significant date in the annals of Comrades Marathon history in that the first 26 races from 1921 – 1951 were run on what was then a public holiday (Empire Day) on 24 May. No races were run during the war years 1941 – 1945.

Comrades Marathon prepares 89.3km route for runners

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 under Running | No Comment

The Comrades Marathon Association has confirmed that there will be no changes to the route for the Comrades Marathon “down run” which will be run on Sunday 24 May 2009.

It will be run on precisely the same route as the most recent “down run” in 2007 in which Leonid Shvetsov set a new best time of 5:20:41 for the “down run” having shattered Bruce Fordyce’s 21-year old previous best time of 5:24:07 set in 1986,

The distance for 2009 is confirmed as 89.3km.

Comrades Marathon has seen the implementation of numerous route changes since the race was first run on Thursday 24 May 1921, with the distance of the race having varied by as much as 5km from shortest to longest during the course of its history.

The earliest Comrades Marathons were run alternately between the City Halls of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, a distance estimated to have been approximately 56 miles.  The race was run largely on dirt roads, with the route passing through several gates and crossing at least one stream, while refreshments for the 30 – 100 competitors were provided by the few hotels situated on the route and supplemented by local farmers.

As population growth and development of the two cities and the rural areas between them progressed over a period of decades, the character and landscape of the province of KwaZulu-Natal obviously also changed dramatically.

Over the years, major and minor changes to the Comrades Marathon route consequently ensued – whether implemented as a natural outcome of infrastructural development, to alleviate traffic congestion, avoid temporary road construction or to accommodate the ever-increasing popularity of an event which grew to attract thousands of participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators.  Some changes were necessitated simply owing to the change of finishing venues.

From year to year, the exact route is subject to the outcome of negotiations conducted between CMA and traffic authorities.  In recent years there have been no changes implemented, with the route for the “down run” having stabilised at approximately 89km and the route for the “up run” at 87km.  The course is recognised as being extremely challenging in either direction, undulating with infamous hill climbs on both the “up” and “down runs”.

Comrades Marathon Race Director Renee Jordaan has confirmed that the organisers will be providing 48 refreshment stations for this year’s “down run” to cater for an anticipated 12,000 – 13,000 participants.  They will also provide extensive medical and emergency services, as well as a runners rescue service for those runners unable to complete the distance.

A reminder that the Closing Date for Entries is 31 March 2009.  Runners MUST submit their entries by Closing Date, but may still qualify up until 28 April.

On a historical note, according to Comrades Marathon “records”, the shortest Comrades Marathon run in recent years was an “up run” in 2002 measured at 86.5km and won by Vladimir Kotov in a time of 5:30:59.   The longest was a “down run” in 1982 measured at 91.4km and won by Bruce Fordyce in a time of 5:34:22.