Organisers have opened the race to another 1 500 runners due to record entry sales for next year’s Comrades Marathon.
The limit of 20 000 participants had been reached on Wednesday night, it was confirmed, three weeks after registrations opened for the annual 89km road race in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The decision is in line with the CMA’s Runners First initiative, aimed at being an all-inclusive sporting event, and in order to cater to those athletes who were not expecting such an early closure of the entry process,” the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) said in a statement.
The unprecedented interest in the race, to be held for the 93rd time in 2018, was credited to a change in the finish venue from Kingsmead cricket ground to the Moses Mabhida football stadium, as well as successful social media campaigns.
With the new venue able to cater for more participants and supporters, race director Rowyn James was confident the larger field would not compound safety or security concerns.
“This decision has been taken with due consideration of the integrity of the event and the safety and well-being of participants,” James said.
The 2018 Comrades Marathon, a ‘down’ run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, will be held on June 10.