LAUNCH OF 2024 COMRADES MARATHON
No Doubt – Nakanjani
“There is absolutely no doubt that the 2024 Comrades Marathon is going to be one of the most exhilarating editions of the world-famous ultramarathon as we host an Up Run again after nearly five years,” said Comrades Marathon Association Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo at the launch of the 97th Comrades Marathon at Comrades House today (Tuesday, 7 November 2023).
Ngcobo also unveiled next year’s campaign slogan, ‘No Doubt – Nakanjani’, an inference to the Comrades athlete’s firm belief in the power, stature and attraction of the world’s biggest, oldest and most loved ultramarathon.
The launch was attended by members of the media, dignitaries, sporting personalities, CMA sponsors, stakeholders, reigning champ, Tete Dijana, former winners and other elite athletes.
Ngcobo said, “The slogan speaks to the legacy of this larger-than-life event, lauded by athletes around the globe as the ultimate road-running challenge and the world’s greatest footrace. The Comrades Marathon has contributed in so many meaningful ways to changing lives, adding purpose and enhancing the social landscape of our beautiful country.”
The 97th Comrades Marathon will be an Up Run on Sunday, 9 June 2024, starting at the Durban City Hall at 05h30 and finishing 12 hours later at the Hollywoodbets Scottsville Racecourse. As with previous Up Runs, the race distance will be approximately 87km. This will be the 49th Comrades Up Run.
The entry period opens at 10am on Tuesday, 21 November and will close at 16h30 on 11 December 2023 or once the entry cap of 23,000 has been reached, whichever comes first.
Entry fees remain the same as that of the 2023 Race and are as follows:
|Entry Type||Entry Fee|
|South Africa 2024 Entrants||R1 200|
|Rest of Africa 2024 Entrants||R2 000|
|International 2024 Entrants||R4 500|
- Online entries can be done via the Comrades Marathon website: www.comrades.com.
CMA Race and Operations Manager, Ann Ashworth says, “We look forward to pulling out all the stops in ensuring a memorable race day for our athletes. Qualification for the 2024 Comrades Marathon is applicable from 1 September 2023 till 2 May 2024.”
“The qualifying criteria for next year’s Comrades Marathon remain unchanged, requiring completion of a standard, officially timed 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”
The substitution process will run over the month of March and April 2024. More details will be revealed closer to the time.
Ashworth also confirmed that prize money for the 2024 Comrades Marathon has been increased by 10% for the Top Ten, meaning that the winner in both the Men’s and Women’s races will take home a cool R550,000 with a total prize purse of over R4,6million, which includes a cash payment of R550,000 should the winners break the Best Time previously recorded for the Up Run in both the Men’s and Women’s races.
The CMA has also introduced a 70+ prize category for the First Man and Woman over the age of 70 years to cross the finish line.
Additionally, in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the race will incentivise the Second and Third Men and Women home with a cash prize. This was previously reserved for only the First KZN Man and Woman.
CMA Vice Chairperson and Head of the Finance Committee, Les Burnard also announced the introduction of the Comrades Runners’ Relief Fund. Through this initiative, up to 1500 disadvantaged athletes may apply for a reduced entry fee of 50%. Terms and conditions apply. More details are available on the official Comrades website: www.comrades.com
Since inception, the Comrades Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive has raised more than R71-million for the CMA’s official charities. The newly selected charities for 2024 are Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC), Childline KwaZulu-Natal, Community Chest of Pietermaritzburg & Durban, Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, Rise Against Hunger and SANParks Honorary Rangers.
Ngcobo has called on all runners to support the incredible work of the CMA in raising funds for charity, saying, “It is incumbent upon us to contribute to the welfare of those who need our compassion and generosity. I personally urge all aspirant 2024 entrants to select the Official Comrades Charity closest to your heart and run your 2024 Comrades in honour of a special cause. Together, we can do so much more to benefit the communities in which we operate and add value to our chosen sport of road running.”