Entering Comrades is one thing, qualifying is another. If you are currently registered but haven’t qualified you’ll need to plan this carefully. Hopefully you won’t be injured necessitating changing your qualification race. If you leave this late you might find yourself scrambling to make the cut off date of 2 May 2018.
Your qualification time will determine your seeding. Assuming you are running a marathon for a qualifier the seeding works as follows:
A seeding: sub 3 hours
B seeding: sub 3:20 hours
C seeding: sub 3:40 hours
D seeding: sub 4:00 hours
E Green Number Club (runners who have completed 10 or more Comrades)
F seeding: sub 4:20 hours
G seeding: sub 4:40 hours
H seeding: sub 5 hours
[For information on seeding in races longer the the marathon or in Ironman check out the details here.]
What Is The Difference In The Seeding Start?
It’s worth getting the best seeding you can get, especially if you are anticipating finishing the race when most people do: the last hour. Those minutes spent waiting for the sardine crush to move over the line can be the difference in making the 6 cut off points along the way or falling foul of the deadly gun going off in Moses Madiba Stadium with you only metres away from the finish line.
It’s also good to be as close to the action as possible for the pre-race rituals that make Comrades such a spine tingling special race to be a part of. This is why I recommend getting your qualification time out of the way BEFORE your Comrades training starts. You can afford to go all out and run the marathon (or more) as fast as you can to secure not only a qualifier but a good seeding.
This video from the start of Comrades looks like it was taken from inside the B or C seeding section. It captures some of the pre-race atmosphere, the singing of Shosholoza (traditional working song), Chariots of Fire, the famous cock crow and then the gun.