COMRADES 2017: All You Need To Know!

Penelope Cairns |

Make the most out of Comrades weekend! From vital race information to where you can support, to where to park; here’s all you need to know about race day!

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The 2017 Comrades up-run will be slightly shorter than the two most recent up-run routes. The 2013 route was 86.86km long while the 2015 route measured 87.72km.

The officially measured and certified distance of the 2017 Comrades Marathon is 86.73km. With regards to the route changes, we will return to the original up-run course through Pinetown without any detours and follow the traditional route from the start outside the Durban City Hall all the way to Pietermaritzburg, except for the last 7km or so.

The Comrades Marathon will be run on Sunday, 04 June 2017 starting at 05h30 and finishing at 17h30. The race is run from “gun to gun”.

The 2017 Comrades Marathon will start at 05h30 outside the Durban City Hall. NO spectators will be allowed at the start of the event due to limitations of crowd control and safety. The race is run from “gun to gun”. Plastic bin bags used as body warmers, will be STRICTLY prohibited and this will be enforced
by security and referees.
Click here to see the start layout.


Click here to see an interactive map of the 2017 route.
As soon as the back markers/last athletes of the overall race field cross over the start line timing mats, a grace period of 15 minutes will be given before the mats are removed. Once removed NO LATE STARTERS will be permitted to proceed. If you ignore this warning your race number will be recorded by the race referees and you WILL be disqualified at the finish.
Biddulphs Removals will provide a free tog bag service from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. Tog bag Stickers will be available at the Biddulphs vehicles at the start. Tog bags must be handed into the Biddulphs vehicle staff at the start area. The drop off point is indicated on the start layout map shown in the Souvenir Brochure. They can be collected at the finish on presentation of your tog bag voucher.
For the safety of your goods, no bags will be handed over without the voucher.


You must collect your (2) race numbers, t-shirt and goodie bag from the venue you have indicated on your entry form. Should you have placed an order for a ChampionChip with your entry form, please note that the chip will be in your race number pack and can ONLY be collected from the registration venue you have indicated. ChampionChip ordered with the entry form will NOT be issued before registration dates. Should you wish to use your chip for qualifying races before Comrades Marathon, please contact ChampionChip directly. These items will not be posted to you. It is important to note the following when collecting your race number package:-

  • All runners must produce their ChampionChip when collecting their race number, with the exception of those who have ordered one with their entry form,in which case it will be in their race packs.
  • All runners must provide proof of identity in order to collect their race number. ID book, Passport or Driver’s License.
  • No race numbers will be issued on race day.

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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 authorisation from the entrant. The person collecting the race number package must have identification. Runners may not claim their race number package after registration closes.


All entrants must run with their own ChampionChip. Runners MUST produce their ChampionChip when collecting their race number. All runners are required to wear a ChampionChip timing device on their shoes for the duration of the race. The chip must be registered in the runner’s name and NOT belong to someone else. Wearing another athlete’s Champion Chip will lead to disqualification.


Runners are encouraged to wear club colours officially registered with their provincial bodies (however this is not compulsory), or unbranded running kits (ASA Rule 13.1). In the event of a team competition, athletes must wear their club colours as officially registered with their provincial bodies.

The two official 2017 Comrades Marathon race numbers must be worn on the front and back of your upper body garment throughout the race, and not on your running shorts, as this will result in disqualification. The sponsored cap which, which you will receive in your runner’s goodie bag, is the preferred (but not compulsory) branded headgear permitted on race day.



The race is run from “gun to gun”. The cut-off times for these points will be confirmed in the final race instructions. The 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.

Athletes must retire once ordered to do so by an official medical delegate or medical staff. [IAAF Rule 240 7]. Failing to obey these officials will lead to your exclusion in entering or participating in the 2018 race.

The cut-off points will be clearly sign posted and do not relate to the location of any timing mats or other markers along the route. Please note that these times and positions are subject to change should the organisers deem it necessary. The final cut-off is at 12 hours (17h30) and if you have not reached the Finish, you must leave the route and retire from the race immediately. Failure to do so, will result in disqualification.

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Please note that the entire field will be seeded with an alphabetical letter on their race numbers. This letter will correspond to the pens at the start. Race referees, security and marshals will be on hand to ensure that runners enter the correct seeding area. To accommodate runners who wish to run with family or friends, athletes may move into a slower seeding pen but may not move into a faster seeding pen. For example: An athlete who is in batch “B” may move down to batch “E”. An athlete who is in batch “B” may NOT move into batch “A”.
NOTE: The gates to the seeding batches will close 15 minutes before the start. All late runners will have to line up in the last batch. Jumping over fences will result in the Technical Officials noting your race number for possible disqualification.

Bus transportation to the start in Durban and from the finish in Pietermaritzburg is available. Tickets must be purchased from the Bus Ticket Stand at the Comrades Expo or Comrades Marathon House during the registration period. The timetable details of when and where the buses will leave and drop runners off will be available when purchasing your tickets. The cost of each ticket will be R 80.00. No tickets will be sold on race day.


The no mobile seconding rule will be very strictly enforced. No seconds may drive, cycle or run alongside any athlete on the route. The stand and hand rule, whereby a runner’s seconds may stand at any point on the route and hand refreshments to their athlete while they remain stationary, will apply. No seconds may travel on the route. No pacing will be permitted. Any transgressions will lead to disqualification. Any athlete being found carried along the route and/or before the finish line will be liable for disqualification. (IAAF Rule 144)With reference to IAAF Rule 144.2(b) athletes who are contention for any position or category prize are not allowed to be in possession of or use any form of mobile or similar device.

There will be 45 well stocked stations situated along the route. Available at all stations will be water sachets, Energade sachets and Coca-Cola beverages. Some stations may also have potatoes, orange segments, bananas, chocolates and biscuits. Litter bins will be supplied on route and runners are
requested to use them.
“NO LITTERING BEYOND THIS POINT” sign boards will be placed at the end of each refreshment point – please abide by them.
There are 8 dedicated medical and physiotherapy stations situated along the route (as shown on the route map). There will also be a medical and physiotherapy tent at the finish.
Medals will be awarded as follows (men and women):-
Gold: Position 1 to 10
Wally Hayward: Position 11 to sub 6 hrs 00 min
Silver: 6 hrs 00 min to sub 7 hrs 30 min
Bill Rowan: 7 hrs 30 min to sub 9 hrs 00 min
Bronze: 9 hrs 00 min to sub 11 hrs 00 min
Vic Clapham: 11 hrs 00 min to sub 12 hrs 00 min


Back-to-Back Medals will be awarded for officially completing a consecutive down and up run. 2017 finishers who completed their first Comrades Marathon in 2016 will be awarded this medal. Your race number bib has two red stripes on either side of your Comrades Race Number. This indicates that you are eligible for the Back-to-Back medal on completion of the race.
The finish of the 2017 Comrades Marathon will be at the Scottsville Racecourse, Home of the Golden Horse Casino. Please take good care of all your personal belongings. Security personnel and members of the South African Police Services will be patrolling the finish area but are unable to be everywhere at
once. It is your responsibility to take care of your personal items.
Click here to see the finish layout.

Saturday, 3 June 2017
Durban – Dr Pixley Ka Seme Str. (West Str.)
between Dorothy Nyembe Str. (Gardiner Str.) & 17h00 07h00
Samora Machel Str. (Aliwal Str.)
Durban – Samora Machel Str. (Aliwal Str.) 00h00 07h00
between Monty Naicker Str. (Pine Str.) &
Anton Lembede Str. (Smith Str.)
Sunday, 4 June 2017
Sherwood – 45th Cutting 04h00 07h30
Cowies Hill 04h30 08h30
Pinetown & Fields Hill 04h45 09h15
Kloof 05h00 10h00
Hillcrest 05h30 11h00
Botha’s Hill 05h40 11h30
Drummond 06h00 12h30
Cato Ridge 07h00 14h30
Camperdown 07h30 15h00
Umlaas Road 07h45 16h00
Lion Park 08h00 16h30
Ashburton 09h00 17h30
Polly Shortts 09h00 18h00
Pietermaritzburg – CB Downes Road, Gladys Manzi Road (Murray Road), Cleland Road, Blackburrow Road, Fairfield Ave, Ridge Road, Harwin Road, Taylor Road 09h00 18h30

For more information, visit

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