The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) launched its campaign for the 90th Comrades Marathon on Thursday, 14 August 2014. Members of the media along with South Africa’s top runners, sporting personalities and stakeholders converged on Johannesburg to be part of the celebratory launch of the world’s biggest and oldest ultra-marathon.
The 2015 campaign is centered on the CMA’s vision of an all-inclusive Comrades Marathon, with the slogan: ‘Be Part of It – Bamba Iqhaza’. CMA General Manager, Chris Bruwer who unveiled the campaign says, ‘We invite every Comrades runner, stakeholder, volunteer and supporter to be a part of this iconic race in one way or another.’
Bruwer adds, ‘There are numerous ways to get involved and participate in the camaraderie while uniting the nation through this iconic event. Please visit our website www.comrades.com to see how you can be a part of it.’
The 90th edition of the race will be run on Sunday, 31 May 2015. The ‘up-run’ will start at the Durban City Hall at 05h30 and end 12 hours later at the Oval Cricket Stadium in Pietermaritzburg, covering a distance of 87km.
1 September 2014 is the opening date for entries into the 2015 Comrades Marathon. The entry period will close on 30 November 2014 or as soon as the special entry cap of 23,000 has been reached. Prospective entrants are encouraged to get their entries in early so as to avoid disappointment.
Entry fees for the 2015 Comrades Marathon are as follows:
South African runners will be eligible for the ‘early bird’ entry fee of R350 if their entry is received before 30 September 2014. The regular South African entry fee of R380 will kick in on 1 October 2014 until the entry process is closed.
Runners can enter as follows:
Entry forms will be available at local running clubs, provincial sporting federations and the CMA; as well as selected qualifying races which the Comrades Team will be attending from September to November.
Qualifying for the 2015 Comrades Marathon will be applicable from 1 August 2014 till 4 May 2015. Runners are advised that the 2014 Comrades Marathon will not be an automatic qualifier for next year’s race.
Race Director Rowyn James says, ‘The reason for this is two-fold. We want to encourage runners to be fit and healthy for Race Day. Further, we want to support all other road-running races in the country, especially the Comrades Marathon qualifying races by driving Comrades runners to participate in those running events.’
The Substitution window period will be from 1 – 21 April 2015.
In a first for South African road-running, R1.5-million is up for grabs to the First Man and Woman respectively who break the current male and female up-run records thereby making the Comrades Marathon by far the most lucrative race on the local athletics scene. Leonid Shvetsov holds the male up-run record of 5:24:47 for his 2008 win while Elena Nurgalieva’s 2006 victory in a time of 6:09:24 stands as the female up-run record.
The first man and woman to cross the finish line will receive R375,000 each. The total prize money for the 2015 Comrades Marathon is R2.600,000; in addition to the respective R1.5-million incentives for the man and woman should they break the record.
CMA Chairman, Macdonald Chitja says: ‘We are pleased to unveil our 2015 Comrades Marathon campaign and invite the nation to be a part of it. The 90th edition of this world-famous ultra-marathon promises to be the best one yet.’
Leading South African sports betting company World Sports Betting (WSB) and Bafana legend Mark Fish handed over a cheque of R10 000 to the Sports Trust today, after they joined forces through the course of the FIFA World Cup held in Brazil.
WSB provided Fish with an initial stake of R10 000 to place a series of bets throughout the World Cup, and agreed to donate the winnings to charity
Reflecting on the campaign, Fish expressed his delight at being able to donate to a worthy cause: “I really had fun throughout the campaign. Whilst my predictions turned out to be less accurate than I’d hoped, I’m glad that we were able to educate the public on sports betting, and give back to charity at the same time.”
Carol Crawford, Marketing & Communications Manager , from the Sports Trust conveyed their gratitude at being chosen as the beneficiary of this campaign: “We’re incredibly grateful that Mark and WSB chose The Sports Trust as their beneficiary. Our values are similar in that we’re passionate about sport and sport development at grass root level, especially within disadvantaged schools in South Africa and we’ll make sure that we continue to enhance education through sport, with this donation.”
The cheque was handed over to the Sports Trust by Fish and World Sports Betting CEO Warren Tannous at their store in Johannesburg earlier today. Tannous commented on the success of the partnership: “We’re delighted at how effective and impactful our partnership with Mark went. We were able to provide a platform for education on sports betting, as well as give back to sports development through The Sports Trust.”
At the end of this year, the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge will again focus the attention on a world-class field competing on an iconic course and watched by millions worldwide. And August marks the start of an intensive course preparation programme for the 2014 event.
“This Monday coming we start with our 16-week programme to prepare for the tournament,” says Antonie Els, the Director of Golf at Sun City and who is working on his ninth Nedbank Golf Challenge this year. Sun City is a Sun International Resort.
“They start delivering the scaffolding on-site, and then a week later they already start the building thereof, beginning with the 18th grandstand.”
The preparation process for “Africa’s Major” begins a lot earlier than most golf fans are aware. And with it comes the pressure to create a tournament and a course that is always bigger and better than the year before.
“The biggest challenge we have is that we are consistently the host club of this event for over 30 years,” says Els. “We compare ourselves a lot with a Major like the Masters at Augusta, because you are presenting the same golf course for the same event at the same time every year.”
“A US Open course will know eight years in advance that they will get the tournament. They prepare their course and present it once off. And the US Open might return there in 16 years time. We don’t have that luxury. We have returning sponsors and clients, media and TV viewers year in, year out, and people expect bigger and better every year. It keeps us on our toes, and it keeps away the complacency element. So we challenge ourselves in every little detail to see how we can improve.”
A big part of the ingredient for success is the conditioning of the Gary Player Country Club course.
“Our course preparation is about to kick in. It starts with preparing for Spring treatments and the fertilizing of all areas. It’s a long process, and the programme is set out so that weekly certain things need to happen in order for everything to culminate in the course condition you see on TV every year. It’s not just a case of three weeks before the event jumping in and painting everything green.”
Rain is a critical element in this process, and Els is confident Mother Nature is going to lend a helping hand again this year.
“We did a major upgrade of our irrigation system in 2010, but irrigation only takes you so far. Mother Nature plays a big role, if not the biggest role. Our rains need to come at the right time and right intervals. At the moment, our old wise men are telling us our August winds are starting early so we should be looking at our first rains in September and then good rains in October. But nature won’t be rushed. From our side we make sure that everything is in place. We focus on what we can control. If the foundation is right we’ll manage the rest as and when it comes.”
A race aimed at exposing young people to the joys and benefits of running while also providing them with a tangible opportunity to be a part of the greater Comrades Marathon experience was hosted this past Saturday (21 June 2014) in Cato Ridge.
More than 500 children converged on the George Cato Primary School to participate in the third edition of the AIMS Children Series Race. The event has been hosted by the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) in South Africa since 2012.
All participants received T-shirts and medals. The children were also provided with refreshments and all the goodies, in addition to amazing lucky draw prizes.
As part of its CMA-CATHSSETA Internship Programme, ten Sport and Event Management interns assisted in organising the event. These young ones were of the feeling that not only was this event educational but also inspirational. They say that it brought them great fulfilment to have been granted an opportunity to give back to the community and celebrate Youth Month.
Convener of the CMA’s CSI Committee, Alen Hattingh says, “It was the first time that many of these children got to participate in an event of this nature and share in the thrill and excitement of an international road-running event like the AIMS Children’s Series Race.”
Hattingh adds, “This event is primarily aimed at exposing young people to the joys and benefits of running and to promote the sport of road-running in our country. We are pleased with Saturday’s event.”
The race was run under the auspices of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA).
The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has secured the hosting of this corporate social investment initiative and will present the third AIMS Children Series Race at the George Cato Primary School in Cato Ridge on 21 June 2014. The race will be run under the auspices of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA).
The CMA is a member of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and also enjoys its revered recognition for the immeasurable contribution it makes to the road-running fraternity, both locally and globally. Up to 1200 children between the ages of 9 and 15 from schools in and around Cato Ridge and the Valley of a Thousand Hills are expected to participate in the event. For many, it will be the first time that they get to participate in an event of this nature and share in the camaraderie and excitement of an international road-running event.
AIMS Vice President responsible for the AIMS Children’s Series, Martha Morales says, “I would like to thank the Comrades Marathon Association for the valuable collaboration to the social programme of AIMS – the AIMS Children´s Series Race. Congratulations for your great spirit of service.” Morales adds, “South Africa is the best place to fulfil our objectives, the birthplace of some of the best athletes in the world. To AIMS and its members, this programme is a strong bond of solidarity and cooperation and the best tool to leave a legacy to the world of road-running.
Convener of the CMA’s CSI Committee, Alen Hattingh says, “The CMA is proud to host this event. We realize that our future Comrades Marathon runners are the young ones of our country and we would love to expose them to the joys of running.”
Hattingh adds, “This event will give the children who reside in the Valley of a Thousand Hills an opportunity to be a part of an athletics event, as there are not many sporting events that take place in that area that they can participate in.”
The event will be organised by the CMA with the help of 10 Sports Management Students doing their internship at the Comrades Marathon. This important skills transfer, is courtesy of the CMA’s skills development partner, CATHSSETA. The AIMS Children’s Series Race is primarily aimed at exposing young people to the joys and benefits of running, while also providing them with a tangible opportunity to be a part of the greater Comrades Marathon experience.
The Sports Trust is one of the official charities of the Comrades Marathon and through their partnership with Nedbank; The Sports Trust is able to make a meaningful contribution towards communities.
(3) schools, with 30 learners each, have been entered into this race, they include : Ogwini Comprehensive High School, Umlazi Comprehensive Technical High School, Chesterville High School.
“Sports development is one of Nedbank’s key Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) focus areas and road running in particular is a category that Nedbank has identified as being an ideal sport in which to play a role. This sponsorship illustrates our drive to help cultivate a culture and passion for road running, athletics and sport in general in South Africa,” said Maseda Ratshikuni.
Thami Vilakazi, CMA Marketing Coordinator and Race Convenor says. “Safety and security of the runners is paramount. There will be two ambulances and four medical personnel to assist with any potential medical eventualities. Durban Metro police willalso be at the event to ensure the safety of the runners.”
Entry is free to all participants from the invited schools. Lucky draw prizes worth over R 5000 are up for grabs. All finishers will receive a medal and a race T-shirt. The 5km Fun Run fires off at 09h00 on Saturday, 21 June 2014, outside the George Cato Primary School and will finish inside the school grounds. The official cut-off time is 11h00.