Substitutions Open

The official 2018 Comrades Marathon Substitution Process opens in the final week of March. This means that runners who were unable to enter the 2018 Comrades Marathon during the official entry period now have an opportunity to still be part of the world’s most famous ultra-marathon via the Substitution process.

The process runs for a full month, opening on Monday, 26 March 2018 and closing on Wednesday, 25 April 2018.

The Substitution Process allows for a runner who has not entered to substitute an entrant who has withdrawn, or intends to withdraw from the 2018 Comrades Marathon.

The Substitution rule applies to all entrants including South African, Rest of Africa and International on a like for like basis i.e.

  • An International entrant can only substitute with an International entrant
  • For the first time, athletes from Rest of Africa (ROA) will be able to substitute with SA runners or other Rest of Africa entrants
  • A South African entrant can substitute with a South African entrant or Rest of Africa entrant

Prospective substitutes are encouraged to do their applications online. Alternatively, they may send their completed applications via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or hand deliver them to Comrades House in Pietermaritzburg. Please do not post forms.

The completed application forms as specified in the Substitution Rule must reach the CMA office by 25 April 2018. There will be no extension of this deadline and no postal applications will be accepted.

The cost of the Substitution application is R200,00. The Substitution application forms will only be available for download at midnight on 25 March 2018.

Athletes intending to submit Substitution application forms are advised to visit the official Comrades Marathon website at for the comprehensive list of rules and regulations which govern the Substitution process.

Race Director Rowyn James has cautioned runners about being charged exorbitant amounts for a substitute entry, saying, ‘We would like to advise prospective substitutes to not pay excessive amounts to the withdrawing athlete for their entry. The 2018 Comrades entry fee was R460 and this should be a guide. We look forward to seeing many more athletes taking to the start line on Sunday, 10 June 2018.’

Meanwhile, CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn has issued an urgent appeal to all those runners who were lucky enough to have secured an entry, but have since either changed their plans, failed to qualify or experienced an injury which might preclude them from participating on 10th June to please make their entries available for Substitution.

“As organisers we experienced an unprecedented demand resulting in our quota being filled and therefore entries closed in less than three weeks this year, leaving some would-be entrants disappointed. We are therefore appealing to anyone who is unlikely to actually utilise their entry, in the true spirt of Comrades, to offer it up for Substitution in order to allow some other runner to achieve his/her dream.”

The 2018 Comrades Marathon Substitution Process opens on 26 March and closes on 25 April 2018.