Pietermaritzburg’s City Hall precinct on Chief Albert Luthuli Street will be a hive of activity come Sunday, 3 June 2012 when thousands of Comrades Marathon enthusiasts will brave the cool, crisp morning, singing the Rainbow Nation’s popular Shosholoza. Then, as tradition dictates, Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire will fill the air, followed by the much anticipated Max Trimborn Cockcrow and the unforgettable sound of the gun before thousands of runners tackle the downhill run to the Sahara Kingsmead Cricket Stadium in Durban.
GET YOUR ENTRY IN
Entries open on Spring Day, 1 September, and there will be a three-month period for all athletes to enter, irrespective of them being veteran or novice Comrades runners. Entries will be limited to a maximum of 18 000 runners and no extensions will be granted. The entry period closes strictly on 30 November 2011, or as soon as 18 000 entries have been received.
Entry fees are as follows:
South African athletes R300
Rest of Africa athletes R500
International athletes US$180
The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) urges all South African Comrades participants to be proactive and enter early, in order to benefit from the early bird entry fee of R270, which will be available from 1 September to 30 September 2011. Should athletes not take advantage of this opportunity, they will have to pay the full entry fee of R300, valid from 1 October to 30 November 2011.
Runners will be able to enter before they qualify. This means that while all entries have to meet the entry criteria, runners will still be allowed to qualify in official qualifying races up until 4 May 2012. Upon qualification, runners simply need to submit the time and details of their qualifying race as well as their race number to the CMA office by 4 May 2012. Upon receipt of the qualifying information, the runner’s entry will be confirmed. Runners who successfully finished the 2011 Comrades Marathon can use their finishing time as a qualifying time for 2012, but please note that you will still need to submit an entry form.
With the closing date of entries being in 2011, athletes will not yet be in possession of their 2012 provincial licenses, but athletes will still have to comply with the rule that they must be licensed through an officially registered athletics club affiliated to Athletics South Africa through their provinces, in order to run the 2012 Comrades Marathon.
Failure to submit these details will result in the athlete’s entry being rejected. Please note that the CMA will send all qualifying times and club details to each athlete’s club for verification purposes. This has been necessitated due to the fact that some athletes submit false information and qualifying times. Please note that submitting false information will result in the athlete’s entry being rejected.
Prospective Comrades runners can enter in the following ways:
• Online entries on the Comrades Marathon website at www.comrades.com
• At Mr Price Sport, Home and Clothing stores countrywide.
• Postal entries by posting the completed entry form with proof of payment to the CMA office in Pietermaritzburg.
• At Comrades Marathon House in Pietermaritzburg, by handing in the completed entry form together with payment.
For the first time in the history of this great race, the CMA has also approved a Substitution Rule for implementation in 2012. This will allow athletes to substitute (or replace) other athletes who entered but are no longer able to run due to injury, illness or inability to qualify. You will be able to get the detailed substitution procedure and time period for the substitution process from the CMA.
CMA ROAD SHOW
The CMA is aiming to get all aspirant Comrades participants motivated and fired up to take on The Ultimate Human Race challenge next year, so come and experience the thrill of the great race at the CMA’s Road Shows around the country. The talks will aim to empower runners with the necessary training and injury-prevention tips that will not only see them get to the start come 3 June 2012, but also take them through to the finish line.
Says CMA Marketing Coordinator Thami Vilakazi, “The CMA will be visiting areas in and around the country from 13 September 2011. Runners can look forward to an educational, motivational and inspirational talk. The Official Comrades Coach, Lindsey Parry, and our CMA team will be on hand to answer all questions regarding next year’s race and to advise novices and experienced Comrades runners alike on how to build themselves up for peak performance.”
Anyone aspiring to run the 89km between KwaZulu-Natal’s two major cities next June is urged to attend these workshops, which are free of charge. For information on the nationwide Comrades Road Show Programme, please contact your local athletics club, visit the official Comrades Marathon website www.comrades.com, or call the CMA at 033 897 8650. September sees the CMA team at the following venues:
Central Gauteng: Tuesday, 13 September 19h00 at Rocky Road Runners – Netcare Head Office Auditorium, 76 Maud Street, cnr West Street, Sandton
Central Gauteng: Wednesday, 14 September 19h00 at Bedfordview Country Club – The BCC Bowls Club, Bedfordview Virgin Active, Cnr Harper & Van Buuren Roads, Bedfordview
Central Gauteng: Thursday, 15 September 19h00 at KHOSA Road Runners – Stan Friedman Sports Grounds, Corner Shannon & Frederick Cooper Drive, Krugersdorp
Western Province: Tuesday, 20 September 19h00 at acsis VOB Running Club – The Alphen Centre, Main Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Western Province: Wednesday, 21 September 19h00 at Durbanville Athletic Club – Durbanville Sportgrounds, cnr De Villiers Drive & Sport Road, Durbanville, Cape Town
Eastern Province: Thursday, 22 September 19h00 at Charlo Athletic Club – Charlo Athletic Club, Italian Sports Club, 17 Harold Road, Charlo, Port Elizabeth
Mpumalanga: Tuesday, 27 September 19h00 at Nedbank LVCC – 1 Aurora Street, Steiltes, Nelspruit
Northern Gauteng: Wednesday, 28 September 19h00 at Irene Road Runners – The Auditorium, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Olifantsfontein Road, Irene, Pretoria
Claiming it’s rightful place on South Africa’s and the world’s sporting calendar, the Comrades Marathon continues to make its mark not just in the hearts and minds of all running enthusiasts, but also on major social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. With the advent of such powerful platforms, people worldwide need not rely on just the official Comrades Marathon website (www.comrades.com) anymore. At the click of a mouse, you can enjoy all Comrades news, views and interviews on these user-friendly sites.
The CMA’s official pages are regularly updated to keep you abreast of all Comrades developments, including current photo’s and sought-after archived material. Feed off happenings from our special feature “Blast from the Past!” or simply utilise the platform to pose a Comrades-related question, and build on your store of all things Comrades – both old and new. See you online!