athletes currently have 12 hours to complete the course, extended from 11 hours in 2003. there are a number of cut-off points along the routes which runners must reach by a prescribed time or be forced to retire from the race. the bill rowan medal was introduced in 2000 and named after the winner of the first comrades marathon in 1921. the time limit for this medal was inspired by rowan’s winning time in 1921 of 8hrs 59min. a new copper medal, the vic clapham medal named after the race founder, was added in 2003. this medal coincided with the increase in the time allocation for completing the event from sub 11hrs to sub 12hrs. as a result, many athletes aim to complete at least 10 races, which is evident as a clear peak in the distribution of medal counts.  the introduction of the back-to-back medal (for running your first and second races in succession) resulted in another peak for athletes with 2 medals.
the medal is 29mm in diameter and depicts the words “comrades marathon” and “maritzburg – durban” encircling a striding figure of hermes with winged feet and helmet. he was also the god of land travel and the patron of roads and his relevance to comrades can perhaps be drawn from this connection. the size of the commemorative medal has remained constant at 40mm diameter although the design of the medal has been specific to the occasion. 1975 – a special medal was struck to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the comrades marathon. 2000 – a special medal was struck to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the comrades marathon and the millennium race. however, the 2005 date bar attached to the medal was specially designate of the 80th celebrations and was attached to a special commemorative ribbon.
prior to 2000, only gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded. the bill rowan medal was introduced in 2000 the silver medal at comrades is the medal that has been around the longest. it was the first medal that was the silver medal is the oldest medal from the comrades marathon, and it was awarded to all, comrades silver medal pace, comrades silver medal pace, comrades silver medal training program 2019, comrades marathon, comrades silver medal training program 2020.
– prior to 2000, only gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded. – the bill rowan medal was introduced in 2000 and silver medals were an ongoing tradition until 1931 when top 6 were then awarded a gold medal. only twenty comrades runners can get gold. a silver medal (under 7h30) therefore becomes the sought after goal for, comrades clothing, robert mtshali medal, comrades training program 2020, comrades cut-off times 2019
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