Comrades Marathon winners set to collect millions in prize money

Comrades Marathon winners set to collect millions in prize money

With only one week remaining until the highly anticipated Comrades Marathon, the prize money has now returned to its pre-Covid-19 pandemic level.

With an impressive R500 000 set aside for the winner, an additional R500 000 awaits any athlete who manages to break the record, while the first South African to cross the Finish Line will be rewarded with R200 000

The race, marking its 96th year and the 48th down-run, will be held on Sunday 11 June starting at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 5.30 am and ending at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban covering 87km.

The R1.2 million purse elevates the Comrades Marathon as the most lucrative race in South Africa. In preparation for the event, race director Rowyn James has declared their readiness assuring that everything is set for the grand spectacle next week.

“We initiated a three-week registration period, commencing in late November last year. By the time entries closed just before December 15th, we had already received 20 000 entries. The sporting community is currently recovering from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we are pleased with its progress and future growth. Notably, the Comrades Marathon has made a significant change this year by returning to its original finish at the Kingsmead Stadium, instead of the Moses Mabhida Stadium where it concluded in 2016. The change brings relief to the runners as they no longer have to worry about the daunting inclines after completing the grueling 90km race at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. I am confident that male and female race winners will each receive an astonishing prize of R1.2 million,” said James in an interview with SABC Sport.

The Durban International Convention Centre will host a three-day expo starting on Thursday and running through to Friday and Saturday. This grand event is expected to attract an estimated 40 000 visitors who will collect race entries and buy memorabilia.

Among the participants, approximately 17 900 have qualified for the race, while 2000 runners will not run due to various reasons like injury, and having prior family commitments on the day of the race.

About 15 940 runners are South Africans with an additional 1 226 international runners joining them and 754 athletes will journey from various other parts of Africa. In comparison, 4 413 runners will run the ultra-marathon for the first time in their lives. The runners from 84 countries will represent their nations on race day, with 14 753 male runners and 3 167 female races entering the race.  

“On Thursday, we have the media briefing for the Comrades Marathon, followed by an elite press conference with the athletes on Friday. This year’s race promises to be truly spectacular. We are thrilled to announce the return of the top ten male finishers from last year, including Tate Dijana, Edward Mothibi, and Bongmusa Mthembu are the previous winners. In the women’s category, eight out of last year’s top ten will be coming back. And one of the main draw cards is Gerda Steyn 2019 winner,” added James.