It seems that many Comrades Marathon runners are unaware of the advantages of registering for the race at Comrades House, in Pietermaritzburg. This is probably due to the fact that anyone wanting to experience the Comrades Expo might as well register in Durban because both take place within the same venue.

However, visiting the Comrades Expo doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to register in Durban. Instead, it is possible for runners, particularly those runners from up country who will be travelling to the start by car, to stop off along the route and register at Comrades House in Pietermaritzburg while on route to the start and Comrades Expo in Durban. Comrades House is literally five minutes’ drive from the N3 highway.

Registering in Pietermaritzburg will give runners an opportunity to experience the history and heritage of the Comrades Marathon through a tour of our museum and to see the office where all major race decisions are made. But, most importantly, registration queues in Pietermaritzburg seldom last longer than a few minutes.

In fact, in 2023 there were no queues at all throughout the entire 3-day registration period. This means that all that needs to be done is to take the New England Road off-ramp and follow the signs to Comrades House.

Adequate parking close to the venue is available. This will be followed by an extremely fast registration process with a tour of Comrades House and the museum as optional extras. Green Number Club runners are also invited to visit the newly refurbished Green Number Room inside the museum where you will find the mounted names of all Green Number athletes and Comrades legends.

The whole exercise need not take longer than a few minutes. Thereafter it is back on the road down to the Expo in Durban.

In this way the long queues which frequently occur in Durban, due to the vast number of runners that choose to register there, can be avoided. In addition, since the Pietermaritzburg registration process is so much smaller than Durban, your experience may well be more personal and hospitable.

The CMA is also introducing a Focus on the First Novice Session where novices registering in Pietermaritzburg will enjoy the benefit of interacting with a panel of legends. In particular, they will be able to receive the same last-minute advice on how best to go about the gruelling challenge that lies ahead as those registering in Durban.

This will take the form of a single session that will take place on Friday, 7 June at 2pm. The panel will give a brief input and this will be followed by a question and answer session and general discussions that will hopefully set all novices’ minds at rest.

All novices who intend registering in Pietermaritzburg are encouraged to do so on Friday at around lunch time which will then enable them to attend the Focus on the First Novice Session.

Should an athlete wish to change their registration point from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, they may do so by calling the CMA office on 033 897 8650 before close of business on Monday, 6 May 2024 or login to their entry profile via www.comrades.com by midnight and make the change.

The 97th Comrades Marathon will be the 49th Up Run on Sunday, 9 June 2024, starting at the Durban City Hall at 05h30 and ending 12 hours later at the HollywoodBets Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg, covering a distance of 85.91km.