17 February 2022, 4pm
Sun 28 August 2022
After nearly two years of adhering to South Africa’s “National State of Disaster”, the subsequent suspension of sporting events and the cancellation of both the 2020 and 2021 Centenary Comrades Marathons, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is thrilled to launch its #Comrades2022 campaign and announce its plans for this year’s race.
CMA Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo unveiled the very appropriate campaign slogan, “The Return – Sishay’ Ibuya”, signaling the long-awaited return to road-running and a celebration of the comeback of The Ultimate Human Race.
The launch, hosted in Johannesburg on Thursday, 17 February, was attended by the nation’s top media, road-running dignitaries, CMA sponsors, stakeholders, former winners, elite athletes and sporting personalities.
Ngcobo has cautioned however that, “Runners will still need to exercise a degree of care and attentiveness when out running – be it exercising, training, spectating or participating in events. However, amid all the precautions and safety measures, we are just extremely pleased to be able to host the 2022 Comrades Marathon in August and invite the nation and the world to celebrate this milestone with us.”
He added, “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.”
The 95th Comrades Marathon will be a Down Run on Sunday, 28 August 2022. 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.
Considering the current national legislation limitation on mass participation events, the entry limit has been capped at 15,000 entries. Due to Coronavirus and other health and safety implications, all entrants will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and produce their vaccine certificate to complete their entry status by 12 July.
The opening date for entries is Wednesday, 23 March 2022, when the first entry window period commences and runs for 1 week until 31 March 2022. During this window period, only those entrants who had successfully entered the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be able to enter, be they South Africa, Rest of Africa or International.
The entry fee for South African athletes will be discounted from ZAR 1200 (EUR 71) to ZAR 1000 in the first entry window period, as per the CMA commitment when the 2020 race was cancelled. Rest of Africa and International entrants in the 2020 Comrades Marathon had their entries deferred to either the 2022 or 2023 race; and will therefore not pay an entry fee.
During the second entry window period, from 20 April to 16 May 2022, all other athletes will be allowed to enter. Entry is free to runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more. This second entry window period will not apply should the entry cap have been reached during the first entry window period.
A special larger than normal commemorative medal denoting the 95th edition of the Comrades Marathon will be struck for this year’s race. A new trophy will also be introduced to the 20–39 years Women’s 2nd place team prize.
CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, “We have exciting plans in place for this year’s Down Run which will finish at Durban’s acclaimed Moses Mabhida Stadium for the second time. Qualifying for the 2022 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of 1 September 2021 till 12 July 2022. The qualifying criteria for this year’s Comrades Marathon remains unchanged requiring completion of a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”
Since inception, the Comrades Amabeadibeadi charity drive has raised more than R60-million for the CMA’s six official charities. The benefitting charities for 2022 are Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC), Community Chests of Pietermaritzburg & Durban, Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, Hospice KZN, Rise Against Hunger and Wildlands Conservation Trust.
Ngcobo has called on all runners to support the charitable fundraising initiatives of the CMA, saying, “We urge all Comrades entrants to select the Official Charity closest to their heart and commit to running for a cause greater than themselves. As the CMA, we have placed great focus on benefitting the communities in which we operate and continuously adding value to the sport of athletics.”
The CMA also launched its new book and board game at the event, namely the Comrades Monopoly which is a world-first for any road-running race. The Comrades Monopoly is a Special Limited Centenary Edition with custom board, properties, money and cards.
For properties, all the Comrades Marathon route landmarks have been used. For the most expensive properties, the Down Run Course Records were used, as well as the fastest times by foreign runners and the record of 9 wins. Additionally, Comrades House and the Comrades Marathon Wall of Honour are used for the Traditional Utility properties while Chance and Community Chest cards feature as Down Run and Up Run.
Also commemorating the centenary of the world’s biggest, oldest and most famous ultramarathon is the recently published Comrades coffee table book, In Your Stride.