Up to 800 runners will be provided with accommodation, a comfortable mattress and blankets for a good night’s rest, ablution facilities as well meals on the evenings prior to and after the race.
Transportation will be provided for runners collecting their race packs at the Durban Exhibition Centre on 3rd June 2017 to the venue in Pietermaritzburg where they will be accommodated and served dinner.
On race day, runners will be provided with breakfast before being transported to the start in Durban and back to the accommodation facility after the race.
After the event, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) will donate the blankets and mattresses to various charity organisations in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.
Chris Fisher, general manager of the CMA said: “This has been a project very close to the heart of the CMA. Through this initiative, we have been able to accommodate runners across the socio-economic spectrum and afford them an opportunity to experience the race. It has given them an opportunity to dream.
“Through the Underprivileged Runners Project, Old Mutual will demonstrate its spirit of humanity by providing support to hundreds of less fortunate runners wishing to participate in the 2017 Comrades Marathon.
“We would like to thank Old Mutual for their commitment to these athletes participating in the Comrades Marathon. Initiatives such as these provide life-changing opportunities for such runners and we are proud to be associated with this leading financial services provider.”
Karen Thomas, head of brand at Old Mutual said: "Running events like the Comrades Marathon showcase South Africa at its very best. Many runners dream of competing in the Comrades Marathon, but for a variety of reasons can't always get to the start line. By sponsoring the Comrades Underprivileged Runners Project, Old Mutual is ensuring that those runners who might not be able to afford the weekend in KwaZulu-Natal now have the chance to be a part of this special day on the South African running calendar."