‘Sizonqoba – Together We Triumph’ is the chosen campaign slogan for the 2019 Comrades Marathon to be hosted in June next year. The unifying campaign theme was unveiled by the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) in Johannesburg a month ago.
The annual launch of the 94th Comrades Marathon attracted the nation’s top media, road-running dignitaries, sponsors, stakeholders, ultra-runners, sporting personalities and 2018 Comrades Marathon Champs, Bongmusa Mthembu and Ann Ashworth.
CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn said, “It is with a great sense of pleasure that we unveil our campaign for next year’s race, ‘Sizonqoba – Together We Triumph’ which sums up the unifying nature of the Comrades Marathon. It is a significant and pertinent campaign slogan that highlights all what the Comrades Marathon epitomizes.”
Winn adds, “We are certain that our athletes will not just embrace our 2019 campaign slogan but resonate with everything that it stands for. Nothing compares to the camaraderie, fellowship, togetherness and solidarity in road-running as that of The Ultimate Human Race.”
The 94th Comrades Marathon will be an Up Run on Sunday, 9 June 2019. The race starts at the Durban City Hall at 05h30 and ends 12 hours later at the Scottsville Race Course, covering a distance of approximately 87km. This will be the 48th Up Run in Comrades history.
Exciting developments for the 2019 race are the introduction of two new medals and increased prize money for the Top 7 finishers. The CMA has confirmed that the women’s equivalent of the Wally Hayward Medal (which is awarded to those runners who finish outside the gold medals, but under 6 hours i.e. Position 11 to sub 6 hours) will now be a part of the race going forward.
This medal will be named the Isavel Roche-Kelly Medal and will be awarded to those Women finishing in Position 11 to sub 7 hours 30 minutes (ie outside the gold medals, but under 7½ hours).
Roche-Kelly won both the 1980 and 1981 editions of The Ultimate Human Race and was the first woman to break the 7½-hour barrier in 1980, finishing her Comrades race in 7 hours and 18 minutes. She went on to finish in 6 hours and 44 minutes the following year. Sadly she passed away in a cycling accident in her native Northern Ireland at the age of only 24, just 3 years later.
The Robert Mtshali Medal will be the new addition to the Comrades Medal Collection and will be awarded to those runners finishing in 9 hours to sub-10 hours. Mtshali was the first unofficial Black runner in the 1935 Comrades Marathon, finishing his race in 9 hours and 30 minutes. This medal will be made of titanium.
Prize money totaling R4.3 million is up for grabs in the 2019 event with R500-thousand for both the Male and Female Winners, R250-thousand to the runners-up and R180-thousand for Third Position. This is an increase of nearly 13% over the 2018 amounts.