Comrades Marathon: Everything ready for Ultimate Human Race

The official route distance for this year's up run is 85.91km with three SuperSport channels covering the race.

The chairperson of the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), Mqondisi Ngcobo, said his organisation has done everything possible for a safe and successful race to be held tomorrow.

The race starts at 05:30 in Durban and ends 12 hours later in Pietermaritzburg, with more than 22 000 runners involved.

The Witness reports that hotels in the area are all fully booked.

Tomorrow’s race in numbers:

  • The official route distance is 85.91km.
  • There will be 48 refreshment stations along the route.
  • The stations are operated by nearly 5 000 volunteers.
  • Around 1 000 marshals and 200 community marshals will assist the SAPS, Metro Police, and other law enforcement officials on race day.
  • There will be eight Netcare medical stations along the route and eight physio stations.
  • The medical facility at the finish venue will include critical care and laboratory facilities, manned by about 75 doctors and 20 nurses.
  • Netcare 911 will have 16 ambulances on the route, fitted with satellite tracking to provide match officials with their exact location to ensure optimal response times to attend to runners in difficulty.
  • There will be an additional six rapid response vehicles with advanced life support paramedics and full emergency equipment.
  • Six paramedics will be on motorcycles while one air rescue helicopter will be on standby.
  • 30 15-seater bailer buses, four 35-seater and 28 60-seater buses on route to uplift the athletes that do not make the cut-offs or are unable to continue with their race on Comrades race day.

Did you know?

The first Comrades Marathon was run on Empire Day, May 24, 1921, when 34 runners lined up in front of the Pietermaritzburg City Hall to commence a race to Durban to commemorate the spirit and camaraderie of the soldiers who fought in the Great War.

It owes its origins to the tireless efforts of its founder Vic Clapham (war veteran and SA Railways engine driver), whose vision it was to create a living memorial to the spirit of his ‘comrades’ who suffered so greatly in the war.

The first race was won by Bill Rowan, a 26-year-old Transvaal farmer in a time of 8:59, which would be the slowest winning time in the history of the race.

There were 16 official finishers.


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