Comrades: prize money upped, with R300?000 for firsT man and woman to break the tape

2011-08-30 00:00

COMRADES Marathon runners who cross the finish line first at Durban’s Sahara-Kingsmead Cricket Stadium on June 3 in next year’s down-run will savour the win more after the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) decided to sweeten the prize money honey pot significantly.

The first man and woman to cross the finish line next year will each take home R300 000 compared to this year’s R250 000.

Second- and third-placed men and women will each receive R145 000 and R110 000 compared to this year’s R120 000 and R90 000 respectively.

Runners who finished in the top 10 this year have welcomed the increased prize money.

Cliff Chinnasamy, manager and coach of Zimbabwe’s Stephen Muzhingi, who won the race this year, said the increase in the prize money “is the greatest thing the CMA has ever done”.

He said the prizes will motivate the runners to work extra hard in going for the first place.

Pietermaritzburg’s Kerry Koen, who finished ninth in the women’s section, said the incentive is good and will encourage the runners to work extra hard.

The bigger prizes on offer might also encourage other runners to sign up for the Comrades instead of competing only in races over shorter distances, Koen said.

Earlier this week the CMA announced that the substitution of entrants before race day will be permissible next year.

This innovation will have an impact on reducing the attrition rate between the entry period and race day. Last year 18 000 athletes were registered, but only about 15 000 started the race.

All the same rules will apply to the substitutes in that they must be over 20 years of age, affiliated to a local road running club and achieve the qualifying time specified on the entry form before May 4, 2012.

Entries for the 2012 race open on September 1 and will close on November 30, or when 18 000 entries are reached.

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