Wesley Botton

Compiled by Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Comrades Marathon runners who were hospitalised are ‘doing well’

No fatalities were reported during or after the gruelling ultra-marathon.

Comrades Marathon runners have been given a near clean bill of health, with organisers confirming that most individuals who were hospitalised over the weekend have already returned home.

While it is not unusual for fatalities to be reported after the race, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) confirmed on Tuesday that nobody died during or after Sunday’s 85.91km ultra-marathon in KwaZulu-Natal.

A total of 18,884 participants made it to the start in Durban and 17,313 runners reached the finish in Pietermaritzburg within the 12-hour cutoff (a 91.68% finish rate).

Among them, 555 runners received medical treatment at the finish venue at Scottsville racecourse (most of them for dehydration and exhaustion), and though 79 individuals were taken to hospital for treatment, only 21 were admitted.

Recovering well

According to CMA medical convenor Jeremy Boulter, those who were admitted to hospital were “doing well”, and by Monday night 18 of them had been sent home.The other three were also expected to make full recoveries.

“The Comrades Marathon is known as one of the world’s toughest endurance events,” Boulter said.

“The aim of our extensive medical provisions is to allow us to help a runner in just about any medical eventuality should the need arise.”

On race day, the CMA’s medical provisions, provided by Netcare 911, included eight physiotherapy stations, a fleet of ambulances, several rapid response vehicles, a team of paramedics, a dedicated emergency helicopter, a fully equipped ICU-type resuscitation area, a critical care emergency facility on the finish line and a St John Ambulance tent.

“Our medical staff had another busy Comrades race day on their hands but all within their grasp,” Boulter said.

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