The Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) has announced that the entries have opened this week for its 2020 race days, but prospective participants are in for a shock. The race organisers recently announced that they have instated a new entry mechanism, along with an entry fee increase.

“TOM 2020 heralds a new era for the Two Oceans Marathon with exciting changes, such as an enhanced runner experience both along the route and at the Finish Village at UCT, as well as a brand refresh,” it reads on TOM’s official site.

The TOM is confirmed to be making use of a ballot system to determine which entrants will be lucky enough to participate in the races. “Following the unprecedented swift sell-out of Ultra Marathon entries in 2019, the ballot or draw system will be used, in line with international best practice, as is done in other world-class major marathons,” reads thir website.

“Given the high level by which demand for entries exceeds supply, the draw system is a more equitable process compared to the anxiety that comes with the traditional ‘first come, first served’ sprint to the payment check-out portal. The intention is to give runners a smoother, more inclusive, fairer and audited process.”

There are now seven days in which prospective participants can apply to be in the running to have their name drawn to ensure entry. “This entry is subject to subsequent payment and providing any missing information by the applicable deadlines.”

There are two draws for the Ultra and Half Marathons each.

Ultra Marathon draws:

1. The first Ultra Marathon draw is for runners who have 7 or more TOM Ultra Marathon medals.
2. The second draw is for everyone else.

There may also be an extra draw for the Ultra marathon if the uptake of entries is lower than expected.

Half Marathon draws:

1. The first Half Marathon draw is for runners who belong to South African running clubs.
2. Accordingly, and in acknowledgment of this, those not picked in Half Marathon draw 1 automatically go into draw 2.

Weighted draw
Loyal TOM Ultra Marathon runners who have completed seven or more Ultra Marathons will stand a higher chance of being drawn in the Ultra ballot in appreciation of their support of the prestigious brand.

Entries and Ballot opening dates:

BNC and Yellow Number Holders: Monday, November 18, 2019

Cape Town International Friendship Run: Monday, November 18, 2019

– Fees, payment deadlines and more info for both of the above:;; 

Ultra and Half Marathon ballot applications: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 (opening date) to 5pm on Monday, November 25, 2019 (closing date).

Charity entries: December 2, 2019

– Fees will be uploaded once final charity selections have been made and the respective charities advise of their selling prices.

Fun Runs: December 2, 2019

– Fees, payment deadlines and more info:

Trail Runs: TBC.

– This event is currently under review for TOM2020. Confirmation as to the status of this event will be communicated as soon as possible.


– The 2020 entry fees have been finalised and approved by Western Province Athletics.

For licensed South African athletes, the 56km Ultra Marathon is R575 (including the Ultra T-shirt) and the 21.1km half marathon is R275.

Half Marathon T-shirts will be available at R275 each.

Picture: Pixabay

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.