Strong field of local and international athletes for the 93rd Comrades Marathon

Generic Comrades Marathon.
Generic Comrades Marathon.
Image: Supplied

Steeped in tradition‚ the Comrades Marathon on Sunday will be the 93rd edition of the world famous ultra-marathon.

The down run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban is always the longer version compared to when the race is run the opposite way (up run).

Sunday’s race officially measures 90.184km‚ slightly longer than the 2016 route’s distance of 89.208km.

Along the route will be 44 refreshment stations‚ fully stocked up with water‚ fruit‚ energy drinks‚ energy bars‚ chocolates‚ biscuits and cooked potatoes‚ the Comrades race office confirmed today.

The race‚ which ends at Moses Mabhida Stadium will comprise of six official cut-off points.

“As long as the runners pass through these points before the indicated time column they are on schedule to finish within 12 hours or less‚” said Comrades race director Rowyn James.

“If they arrive at one of these points after the advertised time they will be loaded onto waiting buses and taken to the finish.” On average‚ the men’s elite runners cover the distance in sub-six hours‚ while their women counterparts arrive at the finish in sub-seven hours.

All of SA’s most recent champions have entered Sunday’s marathon - the Nedbank Running Club duo of Ludwick Mamabolo (2012) and Claude Moshiywa (2013)‚ Entsika Club pair of David Gatebe (2016) and Gift Kelehe (2015)‚ as well as Nedbank’s Charne Bosman (2016) and Caroline Wostmann (2015) of KPMG.

Defending down run champion Gatebe won the 2016 race in a new record time of 5:18:19‚ breaking the previous record of 5:20:39 set by Russian Leonid Shvetsov in 2007.

The first 10 men and women home will get gold medals‚ with the champions across each category guaranteed the R440 000 first prize purse.

The last medal on offer is the Vic Clapham cooper for those will finish the race in 11 hours to sub-12 hours.

Hopefully‚ there won’t be any turning back for the 20 000-odd hopefuls as this race’s “Asjiki” theme proclaims.

“We have catered in every possible way to make the 93rd Comrades Marathon a memorable and hassle-free experience for our runners. We wish all participants a great run on race day‚” said James.

Prize money (Men & women) R440 000 R220 000 R170 000 R85 000 R68 000 R38 000 R34 000 R30 000 R25 000 R21 000.

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