Comrades Crowns taken by a South African and an American

By Alice Morrison

It is one of the most popular races on the calendar and one for many people’s bucket list and this Sunday’s Comrades in South Africa was no exception. This year’s edition was 86.73 km in one stage and around 20,000 runners took part. The route started from Durban City Hall and ended in Pietermaritzburg.

It is a race with a true heart. It was founded to commemorate the spirit and camaraderie of the soldiers who fought in the Great War. Its founder Vic Clapham (war veteran & SA Railways engine driver) wanted to create a living memorial to the spirit of his “comrades” who suffered so greatly in the war.

For the elites, Bongmusa Mthembu cemented his place as South Africa’s top ultra-distance runner, delivering a historic performance and securing his second win at the Comrades Marathon.

It wasn’t his race from the start, though, as it was Charles Tjiane who took early control and was two minutes clear at the halfway point at Drummond in 2:47:29. But he was caught by the pack of six men with 22km to go.

Mthembu took the lead approaching the infamous Polly Shortts climb with less than 10km remaining. He held on to secure victory in 5:35:34, more than three minutes ahead of Zimbabwean athlete, Hatiwande Nyamande, who took second place in 5:38:48. Gift Kelehe finished third in 5:41:48.

Mthembu, who won silver at the 100km World Championships last year, is the first South African man to win Comrades twice.

For the women, American athlete Camille Herron dominated the women’s event, winning in 6:27:35. There was a hairy moment when she stopped before the line, thinking she had reached the finish at a timing mat 200m short of the end. A male athlete behind her put her right and she went on to finish correctly.

Russian athlete Alexandra Morozova pushed hard in the second half to come second in 6:31:45. While the Russian athletics federation had been banned from the International Association of Athletics Federations, preventing athletes from competing at major international championships, race organisers confirmed Morozova had received clearance to compete at the race in advance.

Charne Bosman was first South African woman home and came in third in spite of struggling with a groin injury.

"Bongmusa Mthembu cemented his place as South Africa’s top ultra-distance runner, delivering a historic performance and securing his second win at the Comrades Marathon"

Like what you read?

Click here to sign up for more

Related news

Latest news

The Backbone Bill Whitfield

The BACKBONE

The Backbone – Pennine Way via SPINE ROUTE Edale to Kirk Yetholm 12th – 18th Jan 2024 Many of us have a sports plan at the

Read More »

SEARCH

Filters

Distance
Distance - slider
0KM500KM
Entry Fee
Entry Fee - slider
010000

DATE SEARCh

Date Range

Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.