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Iphupho Lami– Dare to Dream’ is the chosen campaign slogan for the 2020 Comrades Marathon to be hosted in June next year. The inspiring campaign theme was unveiled by the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 02 October 2019.
The annual launch of the 95th Comrades Marathon attracted the nation’s top media, road-running dignitaries, sponsors, stakeholders, ultra-runners, sporting personalities and 2019 Comrades Marathon Champs, Edward Mothibi and Gerda Steyn.
CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn said, “The origin of the Comrades Marathon dates back to 1918 when its founder Vic Clapham had the dream of staging a living memorial to all those who suffered so greatly in the First World War. 1921 saw his vision and dream eventually turned into reality with the inaugural Comrades hosted on 24 May 1921. It would have been beyond his wildest dreams for it to have endured to attain the iconic status it has reached today.”
Winn adds, “Another great visionary, President Nelson Mandela made a surprise visit to the Marathon in 1997 and said: 'One of the greatest challenges in life is to turn our dreams and ideas into reality.' These words greatly inspired the CMA to base its 2020 slogan on this. It is therefore with a great sense of pride and pleasure that we unveil our campaign for next year's race and give all athletes the greenlight to dream.”
The 95th Comrades Marathon will be a Down Run on Sunday, 14 June 2020. The race starts at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ends 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90,2km distance. This will be the 47th Down Run in Comrades history.
The entry cap has been increased from 25,000 to 27,500 entries, making the Comrades Marathon the largest single distance road race in South Africa. Of this 27,500 entry allocation, 7,000 entries are reserved exclusively for novice entrants and 2,500 entries are reserved exclusively for international entrants.
A special commemorative medal denoting the 95th edition of the Comrades Marathon will be struck for next year's race. A new trophy will also be introduced to the 20-39 years Women's 2nd place team prize.
Comrades enthusiasts can look forward to a revamp of the official Comrades Marathon website www.comrades.com with a whole new look and feel, and which goes "live" in tandem with this race launch.
Prize money totalling R4.44 million is up for grabs in the 2020 event with R525,000 for both the male and female Winners R260,000 to the runners-up and R190,000 Third Position.
David Gatebe holds the Men's Best Time of 5:18:19 set in 2016. Frith Van Der Merwe holds the Women's Best Time of 5:54:43 set in 1989.
The opening date for entries is Monday, 28 October 2019. The entry period closes on 30 November 2019 or as soon as the entry cup of 27,500 entries has been reached. Prospective entrants are encouraged to get their entries in early to avoid disappointment, considering that entries sold out in just six days for the 2019 race.
Entry fees for the 2020 Comrades Marathon are as follows:
• South African : R600.00
• Foreign Athletes – Africa/ SADC countries : R1500.00
• Foreign Athletes – International : R3800.00
Entry is free to all runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more.
Runners can enter as follows:
• online via the Comrades Marathon website: www.comrades.com;
• by posting their completed entry form with proof of payment to the CMA Office: P.O. Box 100621, Scottsville, 3209;
• by handing in their completed entry form together with payment at Comrades House, 18 Connaught Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg.
CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, "We have exciting plans in place for next year's Down Run which will finish at Durban's acclaimed Moses Mabhida Stadium for the second time. Qualifying for the 2020 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of 24 August 2019 till 4 May 2020. The qualifying criteria for next year's Comrades Marathon will be to complete a standard 42.2 km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56 km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes."
Cheryl Winn also presented 2019 Comrades Women’s Champs, Edward Mothibi and Gerda Steyn with their coveted Comrades Winner's Jackets.
CMA Vice Chairperson, Sifiso Nzuza said, 'We are well aware that all Comrades enthusiasts are anticipating the 2020 Comrades Marathon. We welcome all of our runners, supporters and stakeholders to share in the camaraderie and excitement of Comrades race day on Sunday, 14 June 2020, as we welcome the world at large to the magical province of KwaZulu-Natal.'