COMRADES 2018: All You Need To Know!

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!

RW Editors |

You’ve put in your training, and now it’s the final countdown to the 2018 Comrades Marathon! We’ve compiled a go-to guide for everything you need to know about this year’s race.

The officially measured and certified distance for Comrades 2018 Down Run is 90.18km. This year’s race will be slightly longer than the previous Down Run route. The 2016 route was 89.208km.

“On race day, runners will start their epic Down Run journey at the City Hall, running down Chief Albert Luthuli Street, heading east. From there they will continue along Alan Paton Avenue and then contraflow onto the N3 national freeway. From there, they will glide off right onto the Market Road on ramp and then left onto the slip road to CB Downes Road and then follow the traditional Comrades route towards Polly Shortts and onwards to Durban.” said CMA Race Director, Rowyn James.

“Regarding the route into Durban, athletes will follow the N3 under the Tollgate Bridge and then take the new fly-over into David Webster Street which becomes Bram Fischer Road. From there, our runners will turn left into Samora Machel Road which then becomes Masabalala Yengwa Avenue.”

James concludes, “Runners will then run contraflow in Masabalala Yengwa Avenue and cross to the north bound lane at Battery Beach Road. They will then take the pathway to the left between the bollards, pass the Virgin Active Gym and turn left into the tunnel before Nino’s and onto the field to the Finish Line at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.”

Comrades 2018 will be run on Sunday, 10 June 2018 starting at 05h30 and finishing at 17h30. The race is run from “gun to gun”.


comrades 2018 expo


The 2018 Comrades Marathon will start at 05h30 outside the Pietermaritzburg 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. Wheelchair athletes will start at the front of the race and for the safety of all participants will be set off shortly before the main race. Wheelchair athletes are invited to contact the organisers to discuss any specific aspects concerning their participation.

Click here to see the start layout.


Click here to see an interactive map of the 2018 route.


Bus transportation to the start in Pietermaritzburg and from the finish in Durban 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 R80 one way. No tickets will be sold on race day.

comrades 2018
Image from the Comrades Facebook Page.


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 Pietermaritzburg to Durban. Tog bag Stickers will be available at the Biddulphs vehicles at the start. Tog bags must be handed to the Biddulphs vehicle staff at the start area. The drop off point is indicated on the start layout map shown in the Souvenir Magazine. The tog bag area will close 15 minutes prior to the start. Please get
there early. 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 should have received two Bonitas 2018 Comrades Marathon race numbers together with these instructions when registering for the race. These numbers are to be clearly displayed on the front and back of your upper body clothing. The numbers may not be defaced or modified. Should you be unable to run for any reason, you may NOT pass your race numbers on to another runner. Any transgression of the race rules is a disqualifiable offense.



You must collect your (2) Comrades Marathon Bonitas race numbers, FREE runner’s 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, the chip will be in your race number pack and can ONLY be collected from the registration venue you have indicated. The ChampionChip ordered with the entry form will NOT be issued before registration dates. Should you wish to use your chip for qualifying races before the 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.

All runners MUST provide proof of identity to collect their race number pack e.g. ID book, Passport or Driver’s License. Along with your race entry confirmation.

NO race numbers will be issued on race day.

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.

Runners may not claim their registration package after registration closes. These items will not be posted to you and no refunds will be processed.

comrades 2018
Image from the Comrades Facebook Page.


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 2018 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 bailer bus and be transported to the finish venue should they not have reached the cut-off points within the specified time.

The cut-off points will be clearly sign posted and do not necessarily relate to the location of any timing mats or other markers along the route.

comrades cut off times


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.


No mobile seconds of any description will be allowed on or along the route. The “STAND AND HAND” rule will apply. The Race Referees will deal with any transgression of this rule and the penalty will include disqualification of the athlete. A television referee will also be used to monitor transgressions and will disqualify runners who are in contravention of these rules. Any athlete who is found to have a support vehicle travelling on the route will be liable for disqualification.

This includes but is not limited to motorcars, motorcycles, bicycles or any mechanical devices. Only Official Vehicles with 2018 Route Access Stickers are permitted on the route.


There will be 44 well stocked refreshment stations situated along the route. Available at all stations will be water sachets, Energade sachets and Coca-Cola carbonated beverage. 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. 2018 finishers who completed their first Comrades Marathon in 2017 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 2018 Comrades Marathon will be at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium. 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.


Click here for all of the road closures.

For more information, visit

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