The starting pistol for the 94th Comrades Marathon goes off at 05:30 on Sunday, 9 June, signalling the beginning of the 48th Up Run in the history of the ultra-marathon.
Extending across a distance of roughly 87km from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, this year’s Comrades promises the action and excitement that we’ve come to expect from the Ultimate Human Race.
Who to watch
In the men’s race, there are a number of South African athletes who could claim their prize as the winner of this year’s Comrades Marathon. Local men to keep an eye out for include Joseph Mphuthi, David Gatebe, Bongmusa Mthembu and Gift Kelehe.
In the women’s race, some elite local competitor’s who could take the women’s title include Charne Bosman, Gerda Steyn, Danette Smith and Ann Ashworth.
This year sees the introduction of two new medals: the Robert Mtshali medal (in recognition of Mtshali, the first unofficial black participant, who completed the race in 1935) and the Isavel Roche-Kelly (who became the first woman to win a silver medal in 1980) medal.
Here is a breakdown of how medals will be awarded at this year’s Comrades:
Completing consecutive up and down runs will score runners something special: back-to-back medals will be awarded to runners who complete the 2019 Comrades Marathon, and also completed last year’s race.
- The first 10 runners to complete the race will receive gold medals.
- The Wally Hayward and Isavel Roche-Kelly medals will be awarded to male and female runners, respectively, from position 11 to sub 6-hour finishers.
- Runners who take between 6 hours and 7 hours and 30 minutes to complete the race will receive silver medals.
- The Bill Rowan medal will be awarded to runners who finish within the 7-hour, 30-minute and sub 9-hour barriers.
- Participants who complete the race in between 9 hours and sub 10 hours will receive the Robert Mtshali medal.
- Bronze medals will be awarded to runners finishing the race in between 9 hours and sub 11 hours.
- The Vic Clapham medal will be awarded to runners who finish between the times of 11 hours and sub 12 hours.
The SABC’s coverage of the event kicks off at 05:00 on Sunday morning, and the race officially ends at 17:35, when the closing ceremony will be broadcast.