2022 Comrades Marathon entry details announced

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) announced on Thursday that this year’s race is going to have a reduced number of runners, but a much higher entry fee.

This year’s Comrades Marathon will see a reduced number of runners, but a much higher entry fee.

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) announced on Thursday that this year’s race is going to have a reduced number of runners, but a much higher entry fee.

This is related to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also means that it is going to be a fully-vaccinated affair on race day on August 28.

The popular event is back after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic and it is going to be the 95th edition overall and 47th down run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, according to CMA.

CMA confirmed race details at an official media launch in Johannesburg on Thursday, although prize money will be released later.

The entry limit has been capped at 15 000 due to current national legislation limitation on mass participation events. Moreover, all entrants will need to produce their Covid-19 vaccine certificate to complete their entry status by July 12.

“The slogan [The Return — Sishay’ Ibuya] is such a natural fit for this year’s upcoming event. The return of the Comrades Marathon, let alone all other road-running events, is something that runners have been eagerly awaiting. It is therefore with a great sense of pride and pleasure that we unveil this campaign, issue details around our upcoming 95th Comrades Marathon and create the conditions for our athletes to run the race that they love so much.”
Mqondisi Ngcobo, Comrades Marathon Association chairperson

In addition, the entry fee for South African athletes is up from R600 to a hefty R1 200 this year, but will be discounted to R1 000 in the first entry window period from March 23 to March 31.

The Rest of Africa and international entrants in the 2020 Comrades Marathon had their entries deferred to either the 2022 or 2023 race and will not pay an entry fee, according to CMA.

During the second entry window for this year’s race, from April 20 to May 16, all other athletes will be allowed to enter. Entry fees for these participants are R1 200 for South Africans, R2 000 for Rest of Africa and R4 500 for the International category — also showing increases. However, entry is free to all runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more, according to CMA.

CMA vice-chairperson Les Burnard said in response to questions at Thursday’s gathering that the inflated entry fee is based on expenses to be incurred in staging this year’s race.

He said the cost of hosting a single runner is about R1 380, which is higher than the lowest new entry fee, but the organisation is able to make up the difference through other means.

Many people complained on social media about the entry fee, while Witness athletics columnist Norrie Williamson said the reduced number of runners and higher entry fee are both unfortunate but can generally be linked to the costly pandemic.

CMA reminded runners that Athletics SA rules only allow for online entries and will be done via the Comrades Marathon website. This year’s race has an appropriate campaign slogan of “The Return — Sishay’ Ibuya”.

“The slogan is such a natural fit for this year’s upcoming event. The return of the Comrades Marathon, let alone all other road-running events, is something that runners have been eagerly awaiting. It is therefore with a great sense of pride and pleasure that we unveil this campaign, issue details around our upcoming 95th Comrades Marathon and create the conditions for our athletes to run the race that they love so much,” said CMA chairperson Mqondisi Ngcobo.

The ultra-marathon will start at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 5.30 am on August 28 and end 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. The official distance is 90,2 km.

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