Bongumusa Mthembu crosses the finish line to win this year’s Comrades Marathon. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

It’s taken just a week for all entries to the 2019 Comrades Marathon to be snapped up.

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) announced on Friday that they have closed the entry process after reaching their cap of 25 000 on Thursday night.

The CMA said in a statement that athletes from 80 countries have entered the event, with most coming from the UK, Zimbabwe, India, United States, Brazil and Australia.

The race is scheduled for Sunday, June 9 next year, with a 5.30am start. The up run will begin at the Durban City Hall and end 12 hours later at the Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg.

CMA chairperson Cheryl Winn: “We regret that there may be some runners who were hoping to secure an entry to next year’s Comrades Marathon, but somehow missed out.

“The CMA thanks all South Africans for their tremendous support and contribution to The Ultimate Human Race.

“We recommend that all runners keep training and stick to their fitness goals. The possibility of a Comrades Substitution between 1 March and 15 April 2019 is still there. so we urge our runners to not lose all hope.”

The race director Rowyn James added: “We reached the cap of 25 000 entries last night and therefore shut down the entry process. The unprecedented demand for Comrades Marathon entries has been amazing.

“The Comrades Marathon brand is obviously in an incredibly good space and it is credit to the team who efficiently and effectively go about putting runners first on a daily basis; as well as all of our sponsors, stakeholders and athletes who are so vested in The Ultimate Human Race.”

The 2018 champions are Bongmusa Mthembu and Ann Ashworth.

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