Media Release: Comrades Novice Hospitality Zone to enhance first time runners’ experience

With nearly a third of novice entrants in #Comrades2018, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has teamed up with major sponsor, Bonitas to once again host its Novice Seminars across the country.

These will take place over the month of April as athletes hone themselves for peak performance on race day, Sunday, 10 June 2018.

To further enhance the experience of novice entrants this year, the CMA will cater for first time entrants at the Novice Hospitality area at the annual three-day Comrades Expo.

Select personalities and Comrades legends will offer talks and motivation to runners in this year’s race. This will be the second year that the Comrades Novice Hospitality zone makes its appearance at the Expo, which was incredibly well received last year, with Quadruple Green Number Legends giving motivational talks and making the Comrades Marathon that much more achievable for the first time Comrades participant.

The aim is to make the overall Comrades experience fun, informative and inspirational for novice athletes.

CMA Marketing Manager, Thami Vilakazi says, “Through the Comrades Novice Hospitality zone, we are able to engage and interact on a much more meaningful level with all first time Comrades participants.”

Vilakazi adds, “The CMA is cognisant of the fact that the decision to run The Ultimate Human Race is indeed a very special and life-changing experience. This facility which is exclusive to Comrades novices is a superb start in that direction.”


The Novice Hospitality Area also presents an opportunity for the CMA to recognise the special contribution of our running legends, especially those who have completed or are completing their 40th Comrades Marathons. Many of these greats will now be able to share their experiences and advice with our novices.


Amongst the offerings for our novices will be motivational talks, running advice and photo sessions with select Comrades personalities. The Novice Hospitality zone captures the essence of what it means to be a Comrades runner, and brings to life the history and great moments of the world’s greatest footrace.


It will include elements of past Comrades, life size stands of some of the legends and comprise of a video area where footage of previous races will be shown. It will also feature Comrades stories and documentaries.


Vilakazi concludes, “The Comrades Novice Hospitality zone is intended to develop into a very special offering, designed to greatly enrich the experience of all new Comrades runners. We invite all first time runners to be part of the great race, from this select zone at the Expo through to race day.”


Provincial Statistics: Novice entrants 2018




Eastern Cape


Free State










North West


Northern Cape


Western Cape




A further 1008 international novice athletes from more than 70 nations of the world will represent their countries in the 2018 Comrades Marathon.