The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has announced that early bird entries for the 90th Comrades Marathon entry process will close on 30 September 2014. So far, 9420 entries have already been received since the entry process opened on 1 September 2014.
This means that just over 13,000 entries are available before the overall entry process closes at the end of November or as soon as the cap of 23000 entries has been reached. Thereafter, no entries will be accepted so runners are urged to enter as soon as possible or risk missing out.
CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, ‘South African runners can take advantage of the ‘early bird’ entry fee of R350 for the entire month of September. As of 1 October 2014, the entry cost for South African runners will be R380.’
Runners from the Rest of Africa will be charged an entry fee of R600 and the cost to International athletes is R2000. The entry requirements, which are clearly indicated on the entry form, must be adhered to at all times.
Entries may be made as follows:
Runners may enter the race before running a qualifying marathon (minimum qualifying distance of 42.2km run in under 5 hours) which must be run between 1 August 2014 and 3 May 2015. Please note that the 2014 Comrades Marathon will not be an automatic qualifier for the 2015 race. Qualifying details must be submitted to the CMA by 5 May 2015.
The 90th edition of the world’s leading ultra-marathon is all set to showcase South Africa’s and the world’s ultra-runners once again come Sunday, 31 May 2015. Being an ‘up-run’, the race starts at the Durban City Hall at 05h30 and ends 12 hours later at the Oval Cricket Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
The South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) received R450 0000 towards equipment, kit and the coaching programme. This contribution forms part of the proceeds from the 2013 Sports Trust Golf Challenge, a fundraiser for golf development played the Monday after the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.
The funds were raised by selling four balls to corporates thereby allowing them to play the same Nedbank Golf Challenge course used by the professional golfers. The proceeds support the SAGDB, the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA) as well as other Sports Trust projects. Since inception in 1999, it has raised over R15 million towards golf development and other sports projects.
The SAGDB identifies and nurtures talented players from disadvantaged communities across the country to give them the best chance to compete against their more fortunate peers.
“This work would however not be possible without the support of other golfing bodies, golfers themselves and organisations such as Nedbank, The Sports Trust and Sun International that fund SAGDB programmes,” explains the SAGDB’s Managing Director Grant Hepburn.
“The donation received goes towards grassroots development. This in turn makes it possible for us to develop players that may one day be good enough to earn their cards and play professionally. So we are really benefiting from a full cycle.”
Some of the beneficiaries from the donation include siblings Siviwe (26) and Yolanda (24) Duma, who started playing golf 15 years ago when their father took them to a coaching session. Since then, the sisters have gone on to represent South Africa at university level and age group respectively.
Anita Mathews, Executive Director of The Sports Trust, said: “We have witnessed how golf has changed the lives of young people through their drive and determination to succeed. It has empowered them to live healthier and disciplined lives, which enables us to reward them for their great efforts and achievements.”
Bernice van der Walt, Marketing Manager at Nedbank says it is a privilege to be a partner of The Sports Trust – a collaborative initiative between the public and private sectors – which has invested over R62 million on more than 261 projects throughout South Africa since it was established in 1995, with a strong emphasis on creating and upgrading sporting facilities and providing equipment.
“As a bank for all, sport development is one of our corporate social responsibility focus areas. We firmly believe that sport plays a key role in the overall development of children as it ignites a sense of purpose in unleashing sporting potential among learners,” said van der Walt
The work that the SAGDB has put into the development of the game is commendable. With very limited resources, it has managed to develop a pipeline of talented golfers through various development initiatives.
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.”