Johannesburg - The Comrades Marathon has a bright future, the organising committee believes, after the event was honoured at the 30th anniversary awards of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
The annual ultra-distance race in KwaZulu-Natal was selected for special recognition at the awards ceremony in Athens, Greece, on Friday.
"Receiving this prestigious acknowledgment from Aims is a significant achievement in the history of the Comrades Marathon and is further evidence of the exciting times that lie ahead for the CMA and the 'Ultimate Human Race'," Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) chairperson Dave Dixon said in a statement.
"We are grateful for this accolade and thank everyone who has had a hand in making Comrades the success story that it is today."
Aims, a global body for long distance road races, highlighted the contributions of the world's oldest marathons from five regions.
The Comrades Marathon received the award for being the oldest marathon and ultra-marathon in Africa.
The 89km race is also the world's oldest ultra-marathon and of all the marathons run globally, it comes third only to the Boston and Yonkers Marathons, in the United States, in terms of age.
Accepting the award on behalf of the CMA, former CMA chairperson and present board member Peter Proctor dedicated the accolade to Vic Clapham, the founder of the race, which was first run in 1921 in remembrance of the soldiers who died during the first World War.
Together with the Comrades, the leading marathons from Europe (Kosice Marathon, Slovakia), Asia (Fukuoka Marathon, Japan) and Oceania (Rotorua Marathon, New Zealand) were also recognised for their involvement in promoting the sport of running.