Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
30 May 2014
10:00 am

Boxes ticked for 2014 Comrades

Wesley Botton

Participants in Sunday's Comrades Marathon have been assured by race director Rowyn James that all is in place for another smooth running of the annual ultra-distance event.

FILE PICTURE: The starting line of the 2013 Comrades Marathon. Picture: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images.

“The expo started on time this morning and everything is on track,” James said yesterday.

“From an operational and logistics perspective everything’s in place and it’s all systems go.”

The race experienced an unusually high percentage of non-finishers and hospitalised runners last year, due to the heat and strong winds, but James said they were expecting more favourable conditions this weekend.

“We have an accurate weather forecast and it will be a maximum of 23 degrees. There might also be some light drizzle in the afternoon, so the conditions should be perfect for running,” he said.

“We had our medical briefing on Tuesday and we are satisfied that we will have sufficient medical assistance at the finish and along the route.

“Last year it was hot and windy and I think our only error was providing a shortage of rescue vehicles, so we’ve upped the numbers this year.”

The 89th edition of the annual race will start at 5.30am on Sunday outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall and the final cut-off gun will be fired at Kingsmead cricket stadium at 5.30pm.

There will be eight physiotherapy stations and 46 refreshment stations along the 89.28km route.

Over 4 000 volunteers will provide more than 21 000 participants, including 1 864 foreign entrants, with sustenance.

Cade Pillay, who turned 20 last month, will be the youngest participant in the race, which has a minimum 20-year age limit, and Robert Bezuidenhout, who turned 81 in January, will be the oldest in the field.

Rand Athletic Club boasts the most entrants with 455 runners, followed by the Central Gauteng division of the Nedbank Running Club with 282 participants.