2020 Comrades Marathon Entries: EVERYTHING You Need To Know

2020 Comrades Marathon Entries: EVERYTHING You Need To Know

 It’s the announcement we’ve all been waiting for…

...when and how can you enter the 2020 Comrades Marathon

Entries for the 2020 Comrades Marathon open on at 8am on Monday 28 October 2019. Entries will close on Saturday 30 November 2019 or as soon as the entry cap of 27 500 entries has been reached.

For the 2020 Comrades Marathon, the CMA are ring-fencing 7000 entries for novices as well as 2500 for international runners.

If you’re a Comrades novice (You’re considered a novice if you've never finished Comrades before regardless of how many times you've entered or started) then you may recall earlier this year the Comrades Marathon Association announced that they had changed the entry criteria for novices meaning you have to qualify to run Comrades BEFORE you can enter.

I've got some good news to share on that later in this post...

As in 2019, we’re pretty sure the entries are going to sell out fast again, so if you’re on the fence, it’s time to make a decision about registering.


How to enter the 2020 Comrades Marathon


There are 3 ways to enter the Comrades Marathon.

  • You can enter Comrades online via their website or app
  • You can physically drop off your Comrades entry form or
  • You can post your Comrades entry form


If you choose to enter the 2020 Comrades Marathon online, you’ll need a debit card, credit card or visa/mastercard in order to pay for your entry.

You can enter online by going to comrades.com or by downloading the Comrades App.

Online entries for the 2020 Comrades Marathon officially open on Monday 28 October 2019 at 8am.

If you would rather hand deliver your completed Comrades Marathon entry form then you need to take it to Comrades House in Pietermaritzburg,

The physical address is 18 Connaught Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg.

You’ll need to have your entry there by 16:30 on the date of entries closing or before the entries sell out (Whichever comes first).

While you’re there, take a walk around the Comrades museum and really get into the spirit of this Comrades thing you’re about to be sucked into. 😉

Entries via snail mail (postal entries) will also be accepted for the 2020 Comrades Marathon.

You will need to send your completed entry from, with proof of your direct deposit or a cheque, to The Comrades Marathon Association, PO Box 100621, Scottsville, 3209.

Your posted entries must be postmarked by the post office no later than the closing date of entries (what this means for those millennials who only operate via email and whatsapp, is that your entry needs to be hand stamped by the post office dated before the date of entries closing)

If you’re paying by cheque, it must be made payable to the Comrades Marathon Association. (And don’t forget to include the cheque in the envelope)

For direct bank deposits, you will need to use the following bank details in order to pay:

Account Holder: Comrades Marathon Association
Account Number: 1305846559
Branch Code: 130526,
Reference: Make sure you use your South African ID number as your reference.

Remember, Comrades entries open on 28 October 2019 and close on 30 November 2019 - or as soon as the 27 000 mark has been reached, so make sure you get it done before then!


How much does it cost to enter Comrades?


The 2020 Comrades Marathon entry fee is as follows:

  • If you are a South African and still live here, it costs R600 (Plus the entry provider service fee).
  • For our continental foreign friends (Africa/SADC) the entry fee is R1500 (Plus the entry provider service fee).
  • Foreign athletes can expect to pay R3800 (Plus the entry provider service fee).

If you are one of those incredible Comrades runners that have successfully finished 25 or more Comrades Marathons, then entry to the 2020 Comrades Marathon is free. (In order to claim you entry you will need to get in touch with the CMA for a ‘25 medal plus’ voucher number which you will need when entering to complete the process.)

As always all Comrades entry fees are non-refundable.


When can I enter Comrades?


The entry period starts when entries open on 28 October 2019, and will stay open until one of two things happen:

  1. the maximum limit of 27 500 is reached or
  2. the closing date of 30 November 2019 arrives.

In other words, if 27 500 entries are received within a week of entries opening, they will close the entries.

Again, as always, no late entries will be available or accepted.

OH, and you also have to be at least 20 years old on race day.


Do you have to belong to a running club to enter the Comrades Marathon?


You don’t need to be a member of a running club at the time of entering the Comrades Marathon, but if you are a South African you will need to be a member of a running club in order to run the Comrades Marathon.

You will also need to be a member of a running club which also has to be in the province in which you reside. So, for example, if you live in Gauteng you need to be a member of a running club in Gauteng.

If you fail to stick to the domicile rule your entry into Comrades will be rejected (unless you are registered on the current ASA National List)

You will also need to have a 2020 license in order to run the Comrades Marathon.

You obviously won’t have your 2020 license when entries open, so you will be able to enter Comrades without it, but you will need to update your 2020 license details, as well as you qualifying race & time before 16h30 on May 4th 2020.


How do 2020 Comrades Marathon substitutions work?


The CMA have made a major overhaul to the Comrades substitution process this year.

Before getting into the details of how it's going to work, the substitution period for the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be between 16 March 2020 and 16 April 2020.

During this period you can potentially get your hands on an entry if you missed out at in the initial Comrades entry period. All Comrades entry criteria as mentioned before will apply and no late substitutions are accepted.

Now to the Comrades substitution nitty gritty...

Going forward, the Comrades Marathon Association are going to handle the substitution process.

That means there will be no more horse-trading for entries and money changing hands that shouldn't be changing hands. 

If after entering Comrades, you are not going to be able to run for whatever reason, you will then be able to place your entry up for substitution. Comrades will then refund you your entry fee (minus a 15% admin fee).

Those substituted entries will then go back into the 'entry pool' where runners who missed out on an entry in the first entry window can enter in the substitution window. There will however be a R200 admin fee added on top of the existing Comrades entry fee. 

Another big change with regards to the substitutions, because of the change outlined above, is "like for like" substitutions are no longer necessary.

In the past, if you were a South African runner you could only substitute with another South African runner for example, but that is no longer the case. It seems all substitutions are created equal after all 🙂


Entering Comrades as an international runner


As a runner the is from outside the borders of South Africa, a special set of rules and guidelines to enter and run Comrades applies.

As an international Comrades runner you will need to read and be familiar with IAAF rule 4 and ASA rule 9.

You will note from those rules, that if you are planning to run the Comrades Marathon in 2020 you will need written approval (also known as a permit) from your National Federation...

...BUT and it's a big but, those rules will only come into play if you are in contention for a category prize.

That means for the vast majority of international Comrades runners who simply want to experience the Ultimate Human Race they DO NOT need a clearance letter.

If you as a foreign athlete are registered through a South African club, it is the responsibility of the club to assist you in securing the permit and make sure the race organisers get hold of it before race day.

If your paperwork as a foreign runner is not in order, the Comrades Marathon Association has the right to reject any foreign entry which is deemed to be in violation of IAAF rule 4 and ASA rule 9.

So in summary, if you're an international runner chasing prize money or a category prize, you MUST HAVE a clearance certificate from your federation. If you're not, then you are fine without it.


Novice Entries for the 2020 Comrades Marathon


And now to the good news about the Novice Comrades runners. As mentioned earlier, the CMA are ring-fencing 7000 entries for novices as well as 2500 for international runners.

A novice is someone who has never finished the Comrades Marathon before.

Even if you’ve run Comrades, but missed a cut-off then you are still considered a novice.

Despite the announcement earlier this year, as a 2020 Comrades Marathon novice YOU DO NOT HAVE TO QUALIFY before entering Comrades.


Make sure you're ready to enter Comrades on 28 October 2019 at 8am as the entries won't last long. 

Do you want to shave 20 minutes off your Comrades Marathon Down Run time?


You can with our FREE strength training programme that you can do once a week, at home and with no expensive gym equipment needed.

Included in the programme:

 Detailed descriptions of each exercise so you know how to do them

 Number of repetitions for each exercise so that you avoid overtraining & injury

 Short videos showing you EXACTLY what to do (Number 4 will turn you into the "Inchanga Slayer"!)

Coach Parry is the Official Comrades Marathon Coach

Coach Parry is the Official Comrades Marathon Coach

What are you training for?

Simply click on any of the images below to access our running training programmes.

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Shave 20 minutes off your 2020 Comrades Marathon down run time...

 ..with this free strength training programme that you can do once a week, at home and with no expensive gym equipment needed.

Your strength training programme is on it's way...