IT’S ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR COMRADES MARATHON
By: Sihle Ndebele
It’s all systems go for the world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon, Comrades Marathon, taking place this weekend.
Speaking to JournalismIziko Sport this week, Comrade Marathon’s race director Rowyn James said that preparations are going well and everything is in place for June 1.
“All preparations are functioning smoothly and all plans well with build up of finish well ahead of schedule,” said James.
“There will be 46 well stocked refreshments stations on route and over 700 marshals will be in attendance to ensure the runners safety. Detailed and extensive traffic management inclusive of a comprehensive medical setup,” James continued.
He added that for this year’s race, which is the 89th edition, they received a huge number of entries.
“We have received 21090 entries of which around 17,500 will start; this makes it the second biggest entry number in the history of Comrades.”
The theme for this year’s race says: “Hard is what makes it great.”
Identical twin sisters from Russia, Olesya and Elena Nurgalieva have been the regulars in the race. They have won a combined ten comrades titles from 2003-2013.
Stephen Muzhingi became the first non South African winner from Africa in 2009.
The overall 2014 prize money has been increased by a whopping 14%. The total prize money has increased to R3.159.000 up from R2.653. 000 of 2013.
The ultimate winners in both males and females races will receive R350.000 each as opposed to the R300.000 awarded last year
This year’s race will be a down run. The starting gun will fire off outside Pietermaritzburg’s City Hall at 05h30 and go off again 12 hours later at Durban’s Sahara-Kingsmead Cricket Stadium to signal the finish.