Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
13 Aug 2015
5:50 pm

Comrades turns to tradition for 91st edition

Wesley Botton

After celebrating the 90th edition of the annual race with commemorative medals and a large field, organisers of the Comrades Marathon are going back to basics by focusing on the event's traditional values next season.

Picture Thinkstock

Having reassessed the Comrades brand in the competitive market of high-profile sport, and defined the event’s ‘DNA’, race director Rowyn James said they were eager to concentrate on the recipe that had made it the most popular ultra-distance running spectacle in the world.
“It’s not an anniversary year, so we have no festivities planned,”James said at the 2016 launch in Kempton Park on Thursday.
“We have reverted back to normal traditions… but I think the important thing is that runners can expect another top notch, well organised, world class event.”
A ‘down’ run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, held under the slogan ‘Izokuthoba – It Will Humble You’, the 91st edition of the race would take place on May 29.
Entries, capped at 20 000 (3 000 fewer than last year), would open on September 1 and close on November 30, with a substitution window available to runners between April 1-21 next year. Qualifying would open on August 30 and close on May 2.
South African runners would pay R380 for an early bird entry and R420 later in the window period.
Prize money had been increased by more than 6%, with a total purse of R2.84 million on offer, including R400 000 to the men’s and women’s winners.
An additional R400 000 was for grabs for the men’s and women’s course records held by Russian Leonid Shvetsov (5:20:47) and Benoni school teacher Frith van der Merwe (5:54.43).