With the entries for the 2018 Comrades Marathon opening to the public on Friday, the organisers of next year’s race are starting to build the hype, by announcing the finishing venue the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Even though the 93rd instalment of the race is 283 days away, #Comrades2018 was trending on Twitter on Wednesday as people expressed their excitement that the next iteration of this historic event would be ending at the massive stadium, which will be replacing Kingsmead as the finish line.
The Ultramarathon, the oldest and longest in the world, takes place over 90 km in KwaZulu-Natal, in May/June. It was envisioned by Vic Clapman in 1918, and with the help of the League of Comrades of the Great War – an association that helped families deal with the losses of World War One – the first Comrades Marathon took place in 1921.
The “down” run begins at the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg and will follow almost the same route as the 2016 instalment – except for the last 8 kilometres, which was moved to avoid the Tollgate highway. The race finishes in Durban at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which was built to host games at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and make up the ending stretch of the race, which will have a 12-hour cut-off – the same cut-off they had in 1921!
Last year’s race was won by South Africa’s own David Gatebe, who broke the race record in 2016 when he crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 18 minutes and 19 seconds.
Aspiring racers will be able to sign up for the Comrades starting this Friday 1 September, and entries will remain open until November 30. To enter, you must be over 20 and able to complete a recognised marathon of 42.2 km. There are only 20 000 spots available, and the race is a favourite of athletes from more than 60 countries, so get put your names down before it’s too late!
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