One of the most important announcements was that of the special entry process to be followed for next years race. Anyone wanting to run next year will have to make up their mind very quickly, as to avoid disappointment, as next year will see for the first time in the marathons history entries being capped at 20,000 runners.
Comrades Marathon 2010 Entry & Qualifying Procedure
Phase 1: 1 September 2009 – Entries open to all previous Comrades Runners ONLY, and will close 31 October 2009. The total will be capped at 15 000 entrants. Please note that entries will close whichever figure or date is obtained first, ie: 15 000 entries received by 10 October, will see entries close.
Phase 2: 1 November 2009 entries open to all Novices ONLY and will close on 30 November 2009. This will be capped at 5000. Please note that entries will close whichever figure or date is obtained first, ie: 5 000 entries received by 10 November, will see entries close.
Qualifying period for 2010 will be as follows: 24 May 2009 to 26 April 2010
Runners who finished the 2009 Comrades Marathon can use their finishing time for 2010. As in 2009, runners were able to enter before they qualify. This means while all entries will have to meet the entry criteria above, runners will still be allowed to qualify in official qualifying races up until the month of April 2010, with the 26th April 2010 as the final cut-off date. Upon qualification, runners simply need to submit the time and details of the qualifying race through to the CMA office. Upon receiving the qualifying information the runner’s entry will be confirmed.
2010 Running Club and License - All runners that enter the 2010 Comrades Marathon must submit their 2010 running club and running license to the CMA as soon as you have been issued this by your club. Failure to do so will result in your entry being rejected. Final date for this is 26 April 2010.
In line with the celebrations of the 85th Anniversary the CMA unveiled the new medal which will be awarded to all runners that complete the 89.17km course within the 12 hour time limit with a commemorative 50mm medal, which is the largest medal ever to be awarded to runners. The regular size medal is 30mm.
A new look and feel web site, www.comrades.com was unveiled, www.comrades.com is one of the most visited sports web sites in Southern Africa with in excess of 1.6 million views per month and on race day 24 May 2009, the site received over 2 million views.
The CMA announced a Celebrity and Comrades Legends Challenge.
Celebrities include individuals from other sports codes and the entertainment industries, thus showcasing that you don’t have to be a talented or gifted athlete to be able to run and complete “The Ultimate Human Race.” Celebrities and sports stars that have committed to the challenge include Kabelo, Kwaito Star, Ferdinand Rabie (Winner Big Brother SA), Asanda Siloti (Biggest looser SA runner up), Lungile Radu (VJ, Actor), Phumlani Dube (Sports presenter), Doug Watson, (KZN and SA A Cricketer), Ryan Sandes (Desert Runner), Garth Wright (Former Springbok scrumhalf)
Legends Challenge: The CMA has never forgotten the individuals that have competed in the Comrades Marathon over the years, and who have assisted in making the Comrades Marathon arguably the Greatest Ultra Marathon in the World. The CMA has identified these individuals and is in current discussions with these previous “Elite” athletes in them taking up the Challenge one more time, in order for them to have a chance at competing against each other and the rest of the 20,000 anticipated athletes lining up at the start in 2010. Legends include the likes of Shaun Meiklejohn, Bruce Fordyce, Willie Motolo and Andrew Kelehe to mention a few.
The celebrities and legends will all be running for the Comrades Amabeadibeadi Charity Campaign, which comprises of the Starfish Great Hearts Foundation, Wildlands Conservation Trust, The Sports Trust, Pink Ribbon and the Community Chest.
Another first for next year is that the race will a ‘down-run’, which in the history of the event there has never been 2 consecutive down runs.
Race Day : 30 May 2010
Start : City Hall in Pietermaritzburg at 05h30
Finish: Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban at 17h30
Cut-off: 12 hours
Gary Boshoff, CEO CMA, “The 85th running of the Comrades Marathon is a race that any marathon runner cannot afford to miss.”
Renee Jordaan; “Next years race provides for some unique challenges for the CMA but concrete plans have been laid and are in the process of being executed, and we can assure all competitors of a world class race day.”
Elite Athletes that attended the event included:
Mr Price Running Club : Mark Mambo, Charles Tjiane, Mncedisi Mkhize, Sipho Ngomane and Fusi Nhlapo
Bonitas Athletic Club : Betheuel Netshifhefhe, Simon Peu
Nedbank Running Club: Lindsay Van Aswegan, Lesley Train, Belinda Waghorn, Gift Kelehe, Andrew Kelehe, Harmans Mokgadi, Peter Molapo, Lucas Nonyana, Peter Mthubi
The results of the SMS competition were also announced at the launch. The competition was in aid of the Amabeadibeadi Charity campaign, where previous runners could SMS “2010” to 38275, and stand a chance to win their entry into the 85th anniversary race. A total of almost 1500 entries were received. BDO Spencer Steward, CMA Auditors, confirmed the following winners:
Claudette Jacobs – Spartan Athletic Club
Matthew Ngwenya – Barberton Gijimas
John Annandale – Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
Andre Pistorius – Nelspruit Marathon Club
Frank Hope – Eskom Gijimas, KZN
Johannes Mafafo – Afrox Running Club
Elias Hlunguni – FNB Running Club
Casper Opperman – Irene Road running Club
Deon Breytenbach – Lagogote Villagers
Beverly Swart – Newcastle Harriers