Runners react to new Comrades qualifying time: 'So now I must run even faster?'
On Thursday afternoon Comrades Marathon organisers announced the entry date for the 2019 ultramarathon as well as a host of other changes including two new medal categories and an increase in the amount of runners allowed to enter the race. But it was the news that the qualifying time had been tightened up that got the most reaction on social media.
Runners used to have to run a sub-5 marathon to qualify for the race. This has now changed to 4hr 50min, meaning that a runner's qualifying time has to be faster by 10 minutes.
And if a runner was planning on using Two Oceans as a qualifyer, then they have to finish within 6:45:00 in order to qualify for Comrades.
Finishing a marathon ten minutes quicker may seem easy enough, but for many it means their Comrades dreams may be out of reach.
These new Comrades Marathon changes just deprived a lot of people wanting to experience the race. I feel sorry for people who won't qualify this year. ☹️💔— • ultra marathoner • (@KEABETSOE_MO) October 11, 2018
What is the Comrades Marathon doing changing their qualifying time??? 😭😭😭😭 I've been training for 4hours 57minutes. Soweto Marathon is only 3 weeks away, no time to change training and race execution. 😭😭😭— Basamweni (@Chaha_Nthoi) October 11, 2018
Feel sorry for slow runners who wanted to experience the magic that is comrades marathon,their dreams up in smoke with this reduction of qualifying time— Phuti (@Motsomi_) October 11, 2018
The race will be run on June 9 and this year the cap has been increased to 25,000 entries.