Cape Town - In a little more than two weeks, around 20 000 brave men and women will line up at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall and begin an 89 km journey to Durban in the 91st Comrades Marathon.
Comrades General Manager Chris Fisher believes that if the limit was 40 000 entrants, they would still be overflowing.
"It's a first-come, first-serve policy and we have a responsibility to keep everybody safe," Fisher said, adding that there would be 120 beds at the finish line to accommodate runners.
The big news this year is that 32% of the field will be made up of novice runners.
"That shows a good marketing of the event and we are really in a good space. There has been a huge demand," he said.
Fisher added that he believed the 7 201 novice runners to be a new record.
The race takes place on May 29 and starts at 05:30.
Comrades Marathon by numbers:
Runners by nationality:
SA - 19 626
Great Britain - 307
USA - 242
Zimbabwe - 166
Australia - 153
Runners by gender:
SA - 15 533 male, 4 298 female
Rest of Africa - 303 male, 78 female
International - 974 male, 346 female
Novice runners - 5 238 male, 1 963 female
Average age of runners:
Male - 43
Female - 41