Race Information

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The Comrades Marathon Association, with Dr Jeremy Boulter at the helm of its Medical Portfolio, has its prime focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of its runners and as such, has prioritised its medical provisions. It is important to remember that the medical attention is retro-active, i.e. we only respond when a runner is in trouble. Prevention is better than cure, and the prevention of problems is in the hands of you, the runner.

The CMA will provide the following medical facilities for runners:-


Netcare 911:
16 ambulances equipped with satellite tracking to enable us to accurately position the vehicles and ensure optimal response times to attend to runner’s difficulty.

6 rapid response vehicles with advanced life support paramedics and full emergency equipment

4 motor bikes / quad bikes with paramedics

1 helicopter

This will be controlled from the medical joint operations control, based on the finish, where there will be 8 computers, a full complement of staff to operate and record all details and dispatch vehicles as and when necessary.
All calls for medical assistance for runners should be made to Netcare 911 medical emergency number 082 911. These calls will then be routed directly to the Medical JOC.


Netcare 911 Physio/ 1st Aid Stations:

8 stations incorporating qualified Physios / Professional Nurses / Paramedical staff.
These will treat minor medical problems. It will also do blood sugar testing. Can be used to treat/ stabilise runners until arrival of ambulance. Physio students will also be at certain refreshment stations along the route. Physio tent is also positioned at finish.



Adcock Ingram Critical Care Medical Tent
50 Doctors and interns
20 Nurses

Mini laboratory provided by Ampath Laboratories

A three bed, fully equipped, ICU type, resuscitation area. This area will have a dedicated specialist emergency team to provide appropriate emergency care if needed.

We will have a mobile medical resuscitation trailer on the finish line. This will be staffed by an emergency care doctor and a paramedic. Its purpose is to be used as a primary, emergency resuscitation area if a runner is in severe trouble at the finish and needs care immediately, prior to being transferred to a medical tent. 

In addition there will be an advanced life support paramedic being stationed along, or at the end of the Toyota Mile. The paramedic will be able to respond to calls to runners in that area who are in trouble before they enter the stadium.

St. John’s Ambulance tent.
For R&R, Rub downs, strapping and massage etc.



Netcare group.
St. Anne’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg will be utilised for those runners who require hospitalisation before halfway.
St. Augustine’s Hospital in Durban will be our referral hospital from the second half of the race and the finish.
Runners with Medical Aid may be charged at Medical Aid rates. Those without will be treated free of charge for a maximum of 24 hours. [sponsored by Netcare].


Will be provided by Netcare at the finish venue at the Sahara-Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.

What can runners do to prevent serious health problems?

Firstly, it is important to appreciate that runners, who collapse after they have finished a race, even if they require urgent medical attention, will almost certainly recover fully. However, those who collapse during a race are most probably suffering from a very serious and potentially fatal condition. So what can be done to prevent this latter situation from arising?

The first thing that runners can do is to make sure that they are adequately prepared. This means that they should have done enough training. They should also do their best to ensure that they have no underlying medical problems, of which they may or may not be aware. The following is a list of questions that runners should ask themselves. If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, it is strongly recommended that you see your doctor or a cardiologist for a full check up before starting the Comrades.

  • Has your doctor ever warned you that you have “heart issues” or that you should only be physically active or do sports under medical supervision?
  • Are you overweight or underweight?
  • Is your girth over 88cm (for women) or 102cm (for men)?
  • Are you over 35 and have not been physically active for a longer period of time?
  • During blood pressure monitoring, have you ever recorded high blood pressure?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with high cholesterol?
  • Do you smoke or have you smoked extensively in the past?
  • Has anyone in your direct family ever suffered from high blood pressure, calcification of the conary blood vessels/heart attack, blood sugar disease, or stroke?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • In the past few months, have you had the sensation of a ‘racing heart’, problems breathing, or chest pains, whether while at rest or during athletic activity?
  • Are you taking any medication for high blood pressure, heart or breathing conditions?
  • Do you ever feel dizzy or pass out, whether at rest or during physical activity?
  • Do you have any problems with your musculoskeletal system, which worsen during physical activity?

Remember, any of these symptoms could be indicative of a serious underlying medical problem.

The next thing that you can do is to be aware of any unusual symptoms that may develop during the race, e.g.: Chest pain, dizziness, severe nausea, unusual shortness of breath, change in your running style, confusion and disorientation. If this happens, stop running and seek medical attention. It has become apparent over many years that people feel it is more important to finish the race than to be concerned about their health. [Or is it a matter of pride!]

The third way is DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICATION AT ALL during the race, especially anti-inflammatories [e.g. Voltaren, Cataflam, etc]. This also includes other pain killers and supplements for cramp etc. There are increasing numbers of runners developing renal failure after Comrades, and one of the major contributing factors to this trend is the taking of anti-inflammatories during the race. Renal Failure is a serious condition and can be fatal.

Another method is a “medical orientated” enforcement of the rules. As the name and the origins and ethos of the Comrades implies, it is a personal battle to the finish, and the support and encouragement of one’s fellow runners is an intimate part of the race. However this could, and has led to runners being helped and carried when they should have stopped running and sought medical help. Any runner who is unable to move forward under their own power, [i.e. is being carried by other runners] will be prevented from continuing and medical attention will be called for - and that runners race will be over!

My appeal to runners is that they demonstrate a great degree of self responsibility. Take care of your health. Make sure that you are adequately prepared to run Comrades. The following is a list of the basic principles every runner should adhere to.

DO drink enough
DO eat if necessary
DO listen to your body

DON’T run if you are not fit enough or not properly prepared. 
DON’T run if you have been sick or on antibiotics in the three weeks prior to the race.
DON’T take ANY medication during the race. 
DON’T be afraid to bale.

Remember the aim is to enjoy the race and finish in a reasonably healthy state. It is your body, and your responsibility to care for it! Be sensible, take note of what is happening to yourself and make responsible decisions. If you start running into trouble, pull out before it is too late.

Entries, How to enter & Substitutions

Entries for the 2017 Comrades Marathon are limited to a maximum of 20 000 and there will be no extensions. All current and potential Comrades Marathon runners that wish to run the 2017 Comrades Marathon are urged to take careful note of the entry process and the cutoff date. All runners are urged to enter early to avoid disappointment.

Entries open on the 1 September 2016 and close on 30 November 2016 or once the quota of 20 000 has been reached.



  • Early Bird Entry for South African Entrants (1 September to 30 September 2016 ONLY) is R420.00.
  • South African Entry Fee (1 October 2016 to 30 November 2016) is R460.00.
  • Rest of Africa Entry Fee (1 October 2016 to 30 November 2016) is R 770.00.
  • International Entry Fee (1 October 2015 to 30 November 2015) is R 2650.
  • Entry fee is waived for holders of 25 or more Comrades medals.
  • Contact CMA for a 25 medal plus voucher number, required during the entry process.


Entries open on 1 September 2016 and close on 30 November 2016. There will only be one entry window period for all athletes to enter, whether they are former Comrades runners, Novices, Rest of Africa, International or South African runners. Entries will be limited to a maximum of 20,000 and no extensions will be entered into. Entries will close on 30 November 2016 or once the 20,000 entries have been received (e.g. if 20,000 entries are received by 15 November 2016 then no further entries will be accepted). All current and potential Comrades Marathon runners that wish to run in 2017 are urged to take careful note of the entry process and the cut-off date.
NO entries will be taken in 2017.
Total number of entries will be capped at 20,000.


1. ONLINE ENTRIESPlease note that in order to enter online you will require either a Debit/Credit Card (Visa/MasterCard). Online entries will open at midday on 1 September 2016.

2. DROP OFF POINT- Hand deliver your entry to the CMA House in Pietermaritzburg by 16h30 on closing date of entries. (See above for details of closing date).

3. POSTAL ENTRIES - Post your entry to Comrades Marathon, PO Box 100621, Scottsville, 3209. You may enter using one of the following options, either by cheque, or direct deposit. All cheques and direct deposits must be made payable to the Comrades Marathon Association. Postal entries must be postmarked by the Post Office no later than closing date of entries (see Closing Date of Entries details). We strongly recommend that you send your entries by registered post. Please keep a copy of your entry form, registered post receipt and deposit slip. Should there be any issues with the non-delivery of your entry, we will require these copies from you.

4. DIRECT DEPOSIT - Runners may pay their entry fee by DIRECT DEPOSIT into a Nedbank branch and post their entry form and deposit slip to CMA. Bank details are: Nedbank, Branch Code: 130526, Account No. 1305846559. Please write your ID Number on the original deposit slip and attach this to the entry form.



No photocopies will be accepted.

Keep a copy of your entry form.






The Comrades Marathon will accept substitutions for the 2017 Comrades Marathon during the window period starting on 14 March 2017 and ending 14 April 2017, 16h30. ALL APPLICATIONS MUST REACH THE CMA OFFICE NO LATER THAN 14 APRIL 2017. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE YOUR SUBSTITUTION ENTRY FORM IN OFFICE BY CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON 14 APRIL 2017. IF YOUR ENTRY REACHES THE CMA ON 15 APRIL 2017, IT WILL NOT BE PROCESSED. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE PROCESSED. Substitution Forms will be available at the CMA from 14 March 2017. 

General Information & Restrictions

The race will be run on Sunday, 04 June 2017 starting at 05h30 and finishing at 17h30. The race is run from "gun to gun".

It is an "UP RUN" starting at the City Hall in Durban and finishing at The Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg. The race distance is 86,73 km. The distance is subject to change and will be confirmed in the final race instructions.

Any irregularities in your entry form will result in a rejected entry. Comrades Marathon Association reserves the right to accept or reject any entry, subject to the rules of IAAF, ASA, KZNA and CMA. Any runner contravening the rules of the race may be banned from the event.

The minimum age requirement is that the athlete must be 20 years or older on the day of the race (ASA Rule 11). Please note that the athlete must be 20 years of age on the day of running the qualifying event.

The Comrades Marathon is restricted to club registered runners only. South African entrants must be current 2017 licensed members of a club, affiliated to Athletics South Africa through their provinces. The domicile rule will be strictly enforced. No athlete may run for a club other than a club registered in the Province in which they domicile, unless they are registered on the current ASA National List. No runner may run with an animal under any circumstances. Athletes will not be in possession of their 2017 licenses at the time of entry. They will be able to enter, however they MUST submit their club name and license number to CMA no later than 16h30, 02 May 2017. Failure to submit these details will result in the entry being rejected. INTERNATIONAL ENTRANTS WHO MAY BE IN CONTENTION TO WIN A CATEGORY PRIZE MUST PRODUCE A CLEARANCE LETTER ON SUBMISSION OF ENTRY, FROM THEIR COUNTRY FEDERATION.

Foreign Athletes

Foreign athletes must strictly observe IAAF Rule 4 paragraph 2. Foreign athletes, particularly those who hope to win any prize, must note that in order to take part in the event, written approval (a permit) from their own federation is required. All foreign athletes, particularly those who hope to win any prize, should hand over their permits (as per IAAF Rule 4 paragraph 2) to the event organisers any time before the event takes place. All foreign athletes who violate IAAF Rule 4 or who do not produce permits on demand, will not be eligible to win any prize. In a case where a foreign athlete is entered through a South African Athletic Club, it is the responsibility of the club to secure the permit from the athlete, and hand it over to the race organisers before the event takes place. Event organisers reserve the right to stop any foreign athlete who does not hold a permit required under IAAF rule 4, from taking part in their event. If a foreign athlete violates IAAF rule 4 or ASA rule 4 and accepts a prize without producing a permit, and the athlete has entered the event through a South African Athletic Club, then the club in question will also face disciplinary action by ASA.


Bus tour tickets are NOT included in the international entry fee. The tour is limited to a runner and two guests. Tours can be booked with your entry. Tour tickets will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. The cost of the bus tour is R400.00.


All entrants must run with their own ChampionChip. Entrants who do not own their own ChampionChip must purchase a chip from ChampionChip Africa, or one of their distributors, prior to entering the event. Runners MUST produce their ChampionChip when collecting their race number. All runners are required to wear a ChampionChip timing device on their shoes for the duration of the race. The chip must be registered in the runner’s name and NOT belong to someone else. Wearing another athlete’s Champion Chip will lead to disqualification.


For more information please contact ChampionChip on +27(0)861100963 or visit their website www.championchip.co.za


Running Kit, Sponsorship & Advertising

Runners are encouraged to wear club colours officially registered with their provincial bodies (however this is not compulsory), or unbranded running kits (ASA Rule 13.1). In the event of a team competition, athletes must wear their club colours as officially registered with their provincial bodies. THE TWO OFFICIAL 2017 COMRADES MARATHON RACE NUMBERS MUST BE WORN ON THE FRONT AND BACK OF YOUR UPPER BODY GARMENT THROUGHOUT THE RACE, AND NOT ON YOUR RUNNING SHORTS, AS THIS WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION.

The sponsored cap which, which you will receive in your runner's goodie bag, is the PREFERRED (but not compulsory) branded heargear permitted on race day. Runners must familiarize themselves with and abide by the advertising rules as per the IAAF and ASA Rulebooks. (IAAF Rule 143 and ASA Rule 13.1 and advertising regulations.) These provisions apply for the duration of the race including warming up, all race ceremonies and official press conference. Under no circumstances may a runner display a political slogan in any matter or form. (IAAF Rule 2(a)).

Number Collection & Expo


You must collect your (2) race numbers, FREE New Balance runner’s t-shirt and Goodie Bag from the venue you have indicated on your entry form. Should you have placed an order for a ChampionChip with your entry form, please note that the chip will be in your race number pack and can ONLY be collected from the registration venue you have indicated. ChampionChip ordered with the entry form will NOT be issued before registration dates. Should you wish to use your chip for qualifying races before Comrades Marathon, please contact ChampionChip directly. These items will not be posted to you. It is important to note the following when collecting your race number package:-

  • All runners MUST produce their ChampionChip when collecting their race number, with the exception of those who have ordered one with their entry form,in which case it will be in their race packs.
  • All runners MUST provide proof of identity in order to collect their race number. ID book, Passport or Driver’s License.
  • NO race numbers will be issued on race day.





Bonitas Comrades Expo    

Comrades Marathon House

Durban Exhibition Centre

18 Connaught Road

Walnut Road







01 June 2017 10h00 - 17h00


02 June 2017  09h00 - 18h00


03 June 2017  09h00 - 17h00


If you are unable to collect your race number package, a third party can collect this on your behalf providing they have a printed copy of Acknowledgement of Entry, the athlete's ChampionChip as well as a letter of authorization from the entrant. The person collecting the race number package must have identification. Runners may not claim their race number package after registration closes.

Runners may not claim their registration package after registration closes. These items will not be posted to you and no refunds will be processed.


Time Limits & Cut - Offs

The race is run from "gun to gun". The cut-off times for these points will be confirmed in the final race instructions. The CMA reserves the right to alter these positions. Runners will be required to board a rescue bus and be transported to the finish venue should they not have reached the cut-off points within the specified time.

Athletes MUST retire once ordered to do so by an official medical delegate or medical staff. [IAAF Rule 240 7]. Failing to obey these officials WILL lead to your exclusion in entering or participating in the 2018 race.

The cut-off points will be clearly sign posted and do not relate to the location of any timing mats or other markers along the route.



CUT-OFF POINT            



Cowies Hill

02:40  (08h10)


Winston Park

04:30  (10h00)


Drummond (Halfway)

06:10  (11h40)


N3 Subway - Cato Ridge

08:10  (13h40)


Umlaas Road Interchange

09:30  (15h00)


Top of Polly Shortts

11:10  (16h40)



Please note that these times and positions are subject to change should the organisers deem it necessary. The final cut-off is at 12 hours (17h30) and if you have not reached the Finish, you must leave the route and retire from the race immediately. Failure to do so, will result in disqualification.


Acknowledgement of Entry

Entries can be confirmed on the Comrades Marathon website www.comrades.com by viewing the "Startlist" (located on the homepage) or login to your user profile using your unique username and password supplied during the entry process. Entries will also be acknowledged to valid e-mail addresses and/or SMS (as supplied on your entry form).

It is your personal responsibility to ensure your contact details are up to date and accurate. It is also your personal responsibility to check your details and confirmation of entry. If any of the details are incorrect please log on with your username and password supplied and correct your details or contact the CMA office. Print your entry confirmation email. You must produce this confirmation together with your ChampionChip in order to collect your race pack. Athletes who ordered a new ChampionChip with their entry will receive it at registration.

Seconding/Physical Assistance

The no mobile seconding rule will be very strictly enforced. No seconds may drive, cycle or run alongside any athlete on the route. The stand and hand rule, whereby a runner’s seconds may stand at any point on the route and hand refreshments to their athlete while they remain stationary, will apply. No seconds may travel on the route. No pacing will be permitted. Any transgressions will lead to disqualification. Any athlete being found carried along the route and/or before the finish line will be liable for disqualification. (IAAF Rule 144)

With reference to IAAF Rule 144.2(b) athletes who are contention for any position or category prize are not allowed to be in possession of or use any form of mobile or similar device.

Qualifying Info

All qualifying races must comply with ASA rules and technical standards. If you do not supply qualifying details with your entry, you must submit your club, license number and qualifying details. 


Medals | Prizes

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Badges and Medals will be awarded to all official finishers who complete the full distance within the 12-hour cut-off timeframe. Find out what Prize Money is on offer. 


Timing Info

The 2017 Comrades Marathon will be timed using the ChampionChip Timing system. All entrants must run with their own ChampionChip and must produce it when collecting their race number.  


Medical Info

The Comrades Marathon Association, with Dr Jeremy Boulter at the helm of its Medical Portfolio, has its prime focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of its runners. Read more for more information. 


Part 3 Spirit of Comrades

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The CATHSSETA Spirit of Comrades award is presented to a maximum of three people per annum in recognition of individuals who are esteemed to embody the "Spirit of Comrades"