The 87th running of the Comrades Marathon will be on Sunday 3 June 2012 and once again the numbers will be capped at 18000.
Following the tradition of alternating the direction, the 2012 race will be a Down Run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.
As opposed to the expected change of finish to the Moses Mabhida stadium the race will once again finish in the Sahara Kingsmeade Cricket Stadium.
The world cup venue was considered but the stadium management were concerned about the massive infrastructure associated with a Comrades finish on the grassed area and how it would impact on their services and very sensitive irrigation system. The alternative of finishing on the adjacent Peoples Park was not viewed as a practical alternative
“In principle the (Comrades) board were supportive of moving to Moses Mahbida stadium, but when this was not available there was little logical benefit of finishing outside the stadium,” said Gary Boshoff the Comrades General Manager. “We have established routes, logistic plans and a race history around Kingsmeade so making changes and extending the race distance to finish outside the stadium was not a practical option”
Kingsmeade has been the finish since 1976, which was the first of four wins for Alan Robb who this year will be running for his 38th medal.
The 2012 race entry period will begin on 1 September 2011 and close on Friday 30 November 2011 or when the 18000 limit has been received. Runners will then have until 4 May to achieve the required sub five-hour qualification.
For the first time in the race history a substitution system will be introduced that will allow runners to take over an entry should one of the pre-entries be unable to run due to injury, illness or not making the qualifying requirements, their slot will be open for substitution. The details of how this will be implemented will be announced later.
A second innovation will be the introduction of an ‘Early Bird’ reduction giving a 10% discount for those who enter in the first of the three-month entry period. The entry fees for 2012 have been nominally increased to R300 for South Africans, R500 for those from the rest of Africa, and International runners will pay US$ 180.00.