Get ready for ‘Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge’

Mar 25, 2021

Media release from Comrades Marathon Association

Comrades Centenary Challenge

Runners in South Africa and around the world will be able to join in the celebratory spirit of the Comrades Marathon Centenary via its 2nd virtual event in the race’s 100-year long history.

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has announced that entries for the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge virtual event will open on Thursday, 25 March 2021 at 12h00.

The Comrades Marathon virtual event, being only the second of its kind, since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic a year ago, will take place on Sunday, 13 June 2021. Runners will be able to participate from any time between 00:01am and 23:59pm on the actual challenge date, within their local time zone globally.

The campaign slogan for this year’s event is ‘Ithemba – Hope Is’, which aims to contextualise each runner’s hopes, what the feeling means to them and to further inspire other athletes to dig deep and discover their own hopes and dreams for a better future and the new normal in a world ravaged by Covid-19.

Route & Distance:

The Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge will comprise 5 distances, being a 5km, 10km, 21.1km, 45km and 90km which will all be run virtually, meaning that athletes get to run their own race, along their chosen route anywhere in the world.

All that participants need to do is go to the official Comrades Marathon website; register for the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge; select their distance; support their Comrades Marathon Official Charity if they so wish and make payment.

Entry Fees:

South Africa /Rest Of Africa

Distance Amount
5km R100.00
10km R150.00
21.1km R400.00
45km R400.00
90km R400.00

* A 5.5% bank transaction fee will apply over and above the entry fee.

* Postage fee of R100 will apply over and above to Rest Of Africa entry fee.

* Entry Fees for the 21.1km, 45km and 90km are inclusive of a free limited-edition Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge T-shirt and South African entries are subject to collection of medal, T-shirt and/or related products at a Mr Price Sports store. Participants who opt for a courier service will be charged an additional R100.


Distance Amount
5km R700.00
10km R700.00
21.1km R850.00
45km R850.00
90km R850.00

* International Entry fees are inclusive of postage of medal and/or products.

Once registration is complete, runners will receive all vital race information prior to the race.

Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge T-Shirt:

An additional 15,000 limited-edition Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge T-Shirts will be available for purchase at R250.00 each across all the Challenge distances.

This is a limited-edition entry only item.

 Challenge Bibs:

Challenge Bibs will be emailed to each entrant on completion of entry. Entrants are encouraged to print out the Challenge Bibs and attach it to their running kit on Challenge Day.

Participants are encouraged to take images and videos wearing their Challenge Bibs or to participate with placards displaying their #HopeIs messages. Posts should include the official hashtags: #Ithemba #HopeIs #ComradesCentenaryHopeChallenge

 Challenge Timing:

Your smart phone, smart watch, fitness watch or activity tracker is your personal ‘virtual timing chip’. Start the session and participate in your selected distance. When you reach the challenge distance you have entered, stop the session and simply, link your Strava, Garmin, Polar or Suunto account to your profile. We also support session file imports for GPX, TCX and FIT formats – and you will also be able to manually input running data.

Challenge Results:

You must upload your challenge data by 11:59pm on 13 June 2021 to qualify as a finisher.

Your time will be updated to the official results service for the challenge distance you participate in. Please also note, that even though your watch or phone may deduct pauses you may have taken during your session, we do not. We measure from start to finish!

The results will be published on the Comrades Marathon website and be fully available on the tracking app.

General Awards:

All participants who finish their respective distance and update their results before the cut-off date/time will receive a virtual medal as well as a physical medal.

All finishers will also receive an online finisher’s certificate once they have finished their challenge distance which they will be able to share with all family and friends.

CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn says, “We welcome all athletes to be a part of the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge. With this being 100 years since the first running of the Comrades Marathon, we invite athletes from South Africa and the world to share in the remembrance and revelry of the world’s oldest, largest and greatest ultramarathon.”

CMA General Manager, Keletso Totlhanyo says, “With the predicted third wave of Covid-19 in South Africa over the coming months, we expect that our athletes will take the necessary precautions and observe the relevant constraints of the National Lockdown and adhere to social distancing norms. With this being our second virtual event in Comrades history, it is our wish that we unite South Africa and the world in one amazing day of running.”

For more information on the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge and to enter, please click through to

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