Launch of 2014 Comrades Marathon The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) launched its campaign for The 2014 Ultimate Human Race in Johannesburg on Thursday, 29 August 2013.
The tough conditions that characterized the 2013 Ultimate Human Race served as a reality check to many Comrades Marathon runners that this is still one of the toughest endurance events in the world. This was the inspiration behind the 2014 campaign: ‘Hard Is What Makes It Great!’
South Africa’s top runners, sporting personalities, stakeholders and media joined in the celebratory launch of the nation’s best loved ultra-marathon for its 89th edition.
The CMA is all set for another amazing race, come Sunday, 1 June 2014. Being a ‘down-run’, the starting gun will fire off outside Pietermaritzburg’s City Hall at 05h30 and go off again 12 hours later at Durban’s Sahara-Kingsmead Cricket Stadium to signal the finish of the 89km road-running challenge.
1 September 2013 brings with it not only the beginning of spring but also the official opening of entries for the 2014 Comrades Marathon. The entry period will close on 30 November 2013 or as soon as the entry cap of 18000 has been reached. Prospective entrants are encouraged to get their entries in early so as to not be left disappointed.
Entry fees for 2014 are as follows:
The CMA has once again catered generously for its South African runners who will be eligible for the ‘early bird’ entry fee of R320 if their entry is received before 30 September 2013. The regular entry fee of R350 will kick in on 1 October 2013 until the entry process is closed. Runners from the rest of Africa will be charged an entry fee of R550 and the cost to international athletes is R1800.
Other great news for runners is that the Substitution Rule will once again be a feature of the 2014 Comrades Marathon entry process, the details of which can be found online at www.comrades.com.
Aspiring runners are urged to enter the great race as early as possible, as entries are strictly on a first come first serve basis. The entry requirements, which are clearly indicated on the entry form, must be strictly complied with at all times or runners may risk losing their place at the Start.
Runners may enter as follows:
Please note that no entries will be taken at Mr Price stores from now on. Entry forms will be available at local running clubs, provincial sporting federations and the CMA; as well as selected qualifying races which the Comrades Team will be attending from September to November. Alternatively, prospective participants may hand deliver or post their completed entry forms and proof of payment to the CMA offices in Pietermaritzburg – P.O.Box 100621, Scottsville, 3209.
Other awesome news for those runners aiming for the top positions is that the overall 2014 Prize Money has been increased by a whopping 14%. The total prize money for the 2014 Comrades Marathon has increased to R3.159,000; up from R2.653,000. This means that next year’s Male and Female Winners will receive a first prize of R350,000 each as opposed to the R300,000 awarded this year.
As part of its Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive, the CMA’s six official charities are the Community Chest of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, PinkDrive, The Sports Trust, Starfish-Greathearts Foundation, Wildlands Conservation Trust and World Vision South Africa.
The charities’ focus are on issues of community development, care for the aged, health and wellness, AIDS care and support, the environment and sports development. Through the amazing Amabeadibeadi Charity initiative, they gain significant resources to effect the intended meaningful change to those needy communities across South Africa.
Further to that, the CMA prides itself in giving the less fortunate athletes an opportunity to compete by putting the humanity into The Ultimate Human Race by making the dreams of approximately 800 disadvantaged runners a reality every year. For over a decade, the Underprivileged Runners Programme has provided resources and moral support to these runners who would normally be unable to compete in the world’s biggest and oldest ultra-marathon and join in the camaraderie and enjoyment associated with it.
CMA Vice Chairman, Macdonald Chitja says: ‘It is with a great sense of pride and pleasure that we unveil our campaign for the 2014 Comrades Marathon. The 2013 race proved to be one of the most difficult races for our runners and the 2014 campaign speaks directly to that.’ Chitja adds, ‘As we direct our prime focus on the Comrades Marathon runner, we also make provisions for supporting the greater good of South Africa through the CMA’s Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive. We are grateful to our generous runners, sponsors, partners and supporters who contribute to the overall success of our charitable outreach. We look forward to hosting you all on 1 June 2014 and wish all runners well in their training.’