Comrades 2012 officially launched

26 August 2011

The official launch for the 2012 Comrades Marathon took place in Johannesburg on Thursday, with top runners and personalities in attendance. Next year's event will be the 87th edition of the world-famous ultra-marathon.

The organisers, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), carried a message for the launch: "The Spirit of Giving, The Spirit of Caring, The Spirit of Winning! – That is The Spirit of Comrades!"

Using the Comrades Marathon for social causes has become an ever growing part of the event and fundraising and charities featured as a prominent part of the launch.

Official charities

In 2012 there will be six official charities, namely Starfish, the Community Chest, the Sports Trust, Pink Drive, Wildlands Conservation Trust, and World Vision, all of which will benefit from the Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive.

The charities focus on issues including health, Aids care and support, care for the aged, community development, the environment, and sports development.

The Comrades Marathon Association also supports about 800 runners annually through its Underprivileged Runners Programme, which provides material and moral support to those athletes who without it would not have been able to participate in the race.

CMA Chairman Peter Proctor commented: "We at the CMA are determined to make a positive impact on the lives of underprivileged South Africans and the Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive is a definite way forward.

"It is wonderful to know that with every step you take a mouth is fed, with every mile you run a tree is planted."

'A superior event'

He added: "We are committed to staging a superior event come 2012. We have visited marathons across the world and are confident that ours is by far, The Ultimate Human Race, as attested to by runners, both locally and globally, as well as the absolute authority on record-breaking achievements, namely The Guinness World Records. In this great spirit, we look forward to welcoming you to another spectacular Comrades Marathon in 2012."

Next year's 89-kilometre race starts outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Sunday, 3 June. It finishes at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban.

Entries open at midnight on Spring Day, 1 September and close on Friday, 30 November or as soon as the cap of 18 000 entries is reached.

There are some new features which are likely to prove popular with runners, including an "early bird" fee during the first month of the 90-day entry period. The CMA has also approved a Substitution Rule. Details are yet to be revealed.

Entries

Entries will be on a first come first served basis and the CMA has urged prospective competitors to enter as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Ways to enter

- Online on the Comrades Marathon website

- At Mr Price Sport, Home and Clothing stores countrywide

- Through the post by posting a completed entry form with proof of payment to the CMA office in Pietermaritzburg: P.O. Box 100621, Scottsville, 3209

- At Comrades Marathon House: by handing in a completed entry form together with payment at the CMA office in Pietermaritzburg

SAinfo reporter

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With a win in the 2011 Comrades Marathon, Stephen Muzhingi became the first man since Bruce Fordyce in the 1980s to win the race three years in succession (Photo: Neil McCartney Blogspot)

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