Comrades Marathon

Comrades renews and upscales Thirsti Water partnership

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is proud to announce the four-year renewal of its Official Hydration Partner and now Tier One sponsor of the world’s biggest, oldest and most famous ultramarathon.

 In addition to other traditional refreshments, runners will be supplied with Thirsti Natural Spring Water at refreshment stations all along the Comrades route. Focused on delivering the highest quality water that nature can provide, Thirsti will make available two million Thirsti water sachets for #Comrades2024.

 Besides the delivery of water from start to finish, Thirsti will enjoy a range of exciting activations at the upcoming race, from the emotionally charged start line, along the 88km route, all the way to the sought-after Comrades finish line.

Over and above the endless flow of natural spring water, Thirsti will also supply Comrades runners with 600-thousand sachets of its electrolyte-fuelled range of sports drink. Superior in composition, this scientifically formulated hydration drink is high in electrolytes and vitamin B providing runners with the ideal energy source required to fuel prolonged activity.

 Outside of the 47 on-route refreshment stations, Thirsti will also sponsor the newly introduced Elite Athlete Water Stations, the revived Comrades Winners Circle and the highly prized Comrades race numbers.

Thirsti will continue to contribute a remarkable amount of logistical support to the Comrades Marathon in the form of warehousing and delivery of its sponsored water; and the direct distribution of water and Thirsti+ to all on-route refreshment stations, thus enabling the Comrades Marathon Association to ensure that all runners have adequate hydration available and that no refreshment stations run dry on race day.

 As part of Thirsti’s generous agreement, an extra 52,000 bottles of their spring water will be made available to all participants. Each runner will receive a bottle of Thirsti product in their goodie bag and another at the finish.

 CMA Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo says, “As a proudly South African and KwaZulu-Natal event, the Comrades Marathon Association is immensely proud to renew this prized partnership with Thirsti as our official hydration partner and to introduce them as a new tier one sponsor. Thirsti has established a formidable national footprint in the bottled water market and has already injected a new level of excitement and passion into the planning and execution of this year’s Comrades refreshment stations.”

 Ngcobo adds, “It is heartening to know that by partnering with a company that shares our values, not only will our runners enjoy the benefits of pure spring water but we will lessen our impact on the environment and ultimately benefit our own local economy and communities.”

 Rob Hoatson, Managing Director of Thirsti says, “We have found significant value in being the hydration partner to the Comrades Marathon since 2019 and are thrilled to amplify our partnership with such valuable real estate leading up to the 100th race. As a KwaZulu-Natal based business, the Comrades Marathon has always been close to our heart, and it gives us immense pride to be part of the story in this historical event.”

 Adds Hoatson, “We firmly believe that come race day, we’ve done our best to ensure the runners remain both hydrated and re-hydrated for The Ultimate Human Race. It is our honour to partner with this race and hydrate all participants. Naturally, we wish all runners well on this year’s Up Run on Sunday, 9 June 2024.”

 CMA Race & Operations Manager, Ann Ashworth says, “The Comrades Marathon Association is proud of its six-year partnership with Thirsti. This year is special as Thirsti remains not just the official hydration partner to The Ultimate Human Race but also moves on up to tier one status, a very real show of commitment to the Comrades Marathon and the future of road-running in our country.”

 With the brands main activation point coming in at Polly Shortts, approximately 80km into this year’s 49th Up Run, Thirsti’s Head of Marketing Michelle Lillico says that the brand is honoured to be a partner to The Ultimate Human Race.

Lillico says, “We’re a brand that admires those with a thirst for life, and are proud to show our respect, support and encouragement to the athletes by supplying them with their most valuable race day refreshments. In addition, we’re planning an exceptional Polly Shortts activation point that we hope will uplift and energise the athletes to complete this year’s 97th running of the most loved ultramarathon.”

 The Comrades Marathon takes place on Sunday, 9 June 2024 starting at the Durban City Hall at 05h30 and finishing at the HollywoodBets Scottsvillle Racecourse at 17h30. This will be the 49th Up Run, covering a distance of nearly 88km.


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