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Comrades Marathon

The first Comrades Marathon took place on 24th May 1921, Empire Day, starting outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg with 34 runners. It was established in memory of the fallen soldiers from South Africa in World War I and has continued since then every year with, the exception of the war years 1941-1945, with the direction alternating each year between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the so called up and down runs.

The course varies from uphill (Durban to Pietermaritzburg) to downhill (Pietermaritzburg to Durban) depending on the year, with the downhills being run on even numbered years and uphill on the odd numbered years.

Less than an hour’s drive from the hotel you can access local Game Farms, visit the quaint Kwazulu-Natal Midlands and experience the local Zulu Culture at traditional Zulu cultural villages. Talk to us about the options for your stay in South Africa.


Entries for the Comrades marathon open on 1 September. Entries will close on 30 November for all runners, including internationals or once the 20,000 cap is reached.


 2019 is an UP RUN starting in Durban and finishing in Pietermaritzburg. 


All entrants must comply with the Comrades Marathon qualifying criteria. If you do not supply qualifying details with your entry, you must submit your club name, license number and qualifying details by no later than 2 May 2019.

All entrants must qualify by completing an officially recognized race, technically approved by the local athletics federation, according to the following table during the period of 26 August 2018 to 2 May 2019.

Qualifying Race Distance Qualifying Time
42.2km 5:00:00
48-50km   6:00:00
52-54km     6:30:00
56km 7:00:00
60km 7:40:00
64km 8:20:00
80km 10:40:00
89km 12:00:00
100km 13:30:00



The minimum age requirement is that the athlete must be 20 years or older on the day of the race.


All runners must register at the International Runners Area at the Bonitas Comrades Expo:

Bonitas Comrades Expo
Durban Exhibition Centre
Walnut Road, Durban

Thursday:     09:00am - 19:00pm
Friday:          09:00am - 19:00pm
Saturday:      09:00am - 19:00pm

  • All runners MUST provide proof of identity in order to collect their race number. ID books, Passport or Driver's Licence
  • 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.
  • NO race numbers will be issued on race day


Bus tickets between Durban/Pietermaritzburg will be available for sale at the Expo Bus Ticket Kiosks prior to the race. No tickets will be available on race day.


5:30am. A 12 hour cut offer time applies. 

The race is run from "gun to gun". The cut-off times for these points will be confirmed in the Final Race Instructions. 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.


There are aid stations along the route containing Coca-Cola, Energade electrolyte drink and water.


The Comrades Marathon is timed using the ChampionChip Timing system. When crossing a timing mat on the route and at the finish the system will record your chip code and allocate a time to it.

It is compulsory to wear a ChampionChip for the duration of the race. Your chip will be in your race number pack and can ONLY be collected from the respective registration points. The chip must be registered in the runner's name and NOT belong to someone else. Wearing another athlete’s ChampionChip will lead to disqualification.


Medals will be awarded to all official finishers who complete the full distance within the 12-hour cut-off.

Medals                           Men and Women
GOLD                             Positions 1-10
WALLY HAYWARD       Position 11 to sub 6hrs
SILVER                           6hrs to sub 7hrs 30min
BILL ROWAN                 7hrs 30min to sub 9hrs
BRONZE                        9hrs to sub 11hrs
VIC CLAPHAM              11hrs to sub 12hrs


The Comrades marathon will accept substitutions for the Comrades Marathon during the window period. No late substitutions will be accepted.


The Comrades Marathon Association 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.

Medical care is provided on the route and a the finish line.


Your Final Race Instructions form part of the rules of the race and will be included with your race number.

4d/3nt Comrades Marathon Itinerary

Friday 7 June

Arrive King Shaka International airport where our representative will meet you and transfer you to your selected hotel in Umhlanga for your 3nt stay on a Bed and Breakfast basis. 

Saturday 8 June

09:00     Expo and race pack pickup - return shuttle service provided to the Comrades Expo in Durban.
17:00     Pre- race full buffet dinner and race briefing 

Sunday 9 June

Comrades Marathon!
Shuttle transfer to the race start
Meet at the finish line to collect your bag
Transfer back to your hotel

Monday 10 June

Check out of hotel
Shuttle transfer to airport for your departure

Additional nights available on request. Contact us for a range of travel options in South Africa.

Cormades Marathon Accommodation

4* Accommodation at Coastlands, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban

For travellers who want to take in the sights and sounds of Durban, Coastlands Umhlanga is the perfect choice. Situated only 18 km from the city centre, guests are well located to enjoy the town's attractions and activities. This modern hotel is in the vicinity of popular city attractions such as Umhlanga Beach and Gateway Shopping Centre.

Coastlands Umhlanga offers many facilities to enrich your stay in Durban. While lodging at this wonderful property, guests can enjoy restaurant, Wi-Fi in public areas, safety deposit boxes, laundry service/dry cleaning, concierge. In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts such as hair dryer, in room safe, internet access – Wi-Fi (charges apply), shower, television LCD/plasma screen to please even the most discerning guest. The hotel offers an excellent variety of recreational facilities, including garden, fitness centre, outdoor pool. Discover an engaging blend of professional service and a wide array of features at Coastlands Umhlanga.


3* Accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban

Located in Umhlanga Ridge, just 400 metres from Gateway Theatre of Shopping, this hotel features Indian Ocean views from its outdoor pool deck. All rooms at Holiday Inn Express Durban are spacious and equipped with a work desk, sitting area and a private bathroom with signature Power Shower. Each non-smoking room is air conditioned and has satellite TV. 

Breakfast is served each morning and includes fresh fruit, pastries and a selection of cheeses. Butcher Block Steak House, set on the terrace with ocean views, offers a variety of freshly prepared meals. Guests can enjoy a drink at the hotel’s nautical-themed bar, Great Room.Holiday Inn Express Durban - Umhlanga is located 15 minutes by car from King Shaka International Airport.


Budget Accommodation at Road Lodge, Umhlanga, Durban

Adjacent to the Gateway Theatre of Shopping's sprawling indoor mall with upscale stores, cinemas mini-golf and a waterpark, this budget hotel is 4 km from the beach and 18 km from King Shaka International Airport. Laid-back guestrooms have en suite bathrooms with showers. All rooms feature conservative decor, TVs, radios and desks. Some rooms offer sleeper chairs. Smoking rooms are available. A breakfast buffet is offered. An outdoor pool is surrounded by a stone sundeck with umbrella-shaded tables and chairs. Free parking is available.


2019 Comrades Marathon Packages

RunFun Travel is pleased to offer a 4d/3nt Package. 

In order to provide your with complete flexibility for your trip we have three options available for your Comrades Marathon weekend. 

4* accommodation at the Holiday Coastlands Hotel, Umhlanga Ridge, from $840 pp twin share and $1230 single.
3* accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express, Umhlanga Ridge, from just $740 per person on a twin share basis and $1096 single. 
Budget accommodation at the Road Lodgel, Umhlanga, from $620 pp twin share and $830 single.
Additional nights available on request.


  • 3 nights’ accommodation on a twin share basis at your choice of hotel, from 7 June 2019
  • Breakfast daily
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Shuttle service to the Durban Exhibition Centre on Saturday to collect your race pack
  • Transfers to the start in Durban and back from the finish line in Pietermaritzburg to your hotel
  • Pre-race dinner and Race Day Briefing 
  • Meet and Greet at designated point at finish line to hand out bags
  • Our representative on hand to assist you during your stay

Optional (not included in the prices above but we can certainly include this service!)

  • Entry to the Comrades Marathon
  • Timing Chip
  • Runners’ t-shirt
  • Finishers’ medal
  • Goody bag
  • Entry fee: $tbc



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