Johannesburg - Runners wishing to take part in the 86th edition of the Comrades Marathon have until the end of the month to get their entries in.
Already over 13 200 people have entered, reports SouthAfrica.info.
The race organiser, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), believes that interest in the iconic race will continue to grow thanks to the event receiving official recognition by the Guinness World Records as the event with "the most runners in an ultra-marathon".
CMA General Manager Gary Boshoff said they were confident that the 86th running of The Ultimate Human Race will maintain the strides made this year, where 14 338 runners made it to the finish line.
"We expect heightened interest from novices worldwide, but mostly from local athletes who have rediscovered the magnetism of the Comrades Marathon and its prominence on the Rainbow Nation's sporting calendar."
The 2010 event drew 23 568 entries, the second largest number in its history.
Zimbabwe's Stephen Muzhingi won the men's race for the second year in succession, while Elena Nurgalieva claimed the women's title for the fifth time, succeeding her sister Olesya as the title holder.
Entries for Comrades 2011 opened on 1 September and close on 30 November.
After two 'down' runs - this year's race was a 'down' run to accommodate the huge field at the finish in Durban - the Comrades 2011 will be an 'up' run. It will take place on 29 May, starting in Durban and finishing at The Oval Cricket Ground in Alexandra Park.
There will be fewer places available in 2011 than there were for 2010, with organisers capping the size of the field at 18 000, and no extensions set to be allowed. There is only the one entry window for all athletes.
Entry forms are available at all Mr Price Home, Sport and Clothing stores, as well as at Sportsman Warehouse outlets, local running clubs, provincial sporting federations and the CMA.
Alternatively, prospective participants may hand deliver or post their completed entry forms and proof of payment to the CMA offices in Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Online entries can be accessed on the Comrades Marathon website - www.comrades.com