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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

All smiles as Comrades prize money goes up & CMA says you can pay for 2023 entry fee in instalments

Under the new slogan Ziyasha - This is it, the Comrades Marathon was successfully launched over a breakfast event held at the Comrades Marathon House in Pietermaritzburg this morning. The world's oldest and largest ultra marathon will be a Down Run from the KwaZulu-Natal capital of Pietermaritzburg to Durban on 11 June 2023.

But the biggest announcement made today made after much concern over the financial state of the Comrades Marathon Association which suffered greatly when the race could not take place in 2020 and 2021, was the increase in prize money from R260 000 to R300 000 for the race winner. Despite, the money being way below R425 000 which was the first prize in before the Covid19 enforced decrease in 2019, Race Director Rowyn James has promised the prize will go up again in 2024.

Comrades winners Bong'musa Mthembu, Edward Mothibi and Tete Dijana along with Comrades gold medalist Nkosikhona Mhlakwana pose with CMA Chairperson Mqondisi Ngcobo. Photo Credit: MWMedia.

"I'm very happy with the increase in the prize money next year. We tried to sit down with the staff to see how we are going to keep runners happy, then we agreed on a 15 percent increase across the board. Considering the economic factors in place, it is good. But we are optimistic that there is a big sponsor that will be announced soon so expect the prize money to go back to what it was in 2024," he said on a day when Deep Heat was announced as the latest sponsor of the 100-year-old race and Mr Price Sport renewed their sponsorship tenure.

The news of the increase in prize money was welcomed with both hands by reigning champion Tete Morena Dijana who was presented with his winner's jacket during the morning's festivities. The Nedbank Running Club man believes will make a difference to the runners.

"I'm happy that the organizers have decided to increase the money. It would mean a change for the athletes. Although I'm not running for money, this means a lot. The money I won this year did change my life as I will build the house for my kids and invest in the future," he shared.

Entries for the 96th running of the iconic race opened at midday today and will close at 16:30 on 9 December or once the entry cap of 20 000 has been reached, whichever comes first. The South Africans will pay R1 200, the rest of Africa R2 000 and international athletes will cost R4 500. This year runners also have the option of paying their entry fee over two instalments. Click HERE to enter and be a part of The Ultimate Human Race.

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