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Encyclopedia > Comrades Marathon

The Comrades Marathon is a South African ultramarathon run over a distance of approximately 90 km. The marathon is run between the capital of the Kwazulu-Natal Province, Pietermaritzburg, and the coastal city of Durban. The direction of the race alternates each year, alternating between the up run starting from Durban and the down run starting from Pietermaritzburg. An ultramarathon is any running event longer than the marathon length of 42. ... Capital Pietermaritzburg Largest city Durban Area  - Total Ranked 7th 92,100 km² Premier (List) Sbu Ndebele (ANC) Population   - 2001   - 1996   - Density Ranked 1st 9,426,019 8,417,021 102/km² (2001) Languages isiZulu (80. ... Location of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal province The city of Pietermaritzburg is the capital of South Africas province of KwaZulu-Natal (29°35′S 30°25′E). ... Central area of Durban Durban is a city in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa (29°53′S 31°03′E). ... Central area of Durban Durban is a city in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa (29°53′S 31°03′E). ... Location of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal province The city of Pietermaritzburg is the capital of South Africas province of KwaZulu-Natal (29°35′S 30°25′E). ...

The race is run over a strenuous course which can be best described by "The Big Five". The Big Five are hills on the route of the Comrades Marathon and, on the up run they appear in the following order: Cowies Hill, Field's Hill, Botha's Hill, Inchanga, and finally, Polly Shortts. On the down run there are an equally challenging set of hills, and many runners are surprised that a race described as down still has some exceptionally tough hills to climb, including Inchanga, Alverstone, Bothas Hill and Cowies Hill. Cowies Hill is a small residential suburb of Pinetown in Durban, South Africa. ... Bothas Hill is a small town outside of Hillcrest in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. ... Polly Shortts is a hill on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. ...

The race was the idea of World War I veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during the war. It was run for the first time on 24 May 1924, and except for a break during World War II, it has been run every year since. The 2005 event was the 80th running. Combatants Allies: • Serbia, • Russia, • France, • Romania, • Belgium, • British Empire and Dominions, • United States, • Italy, • ...and others Central Powers: • Germany, • Austria-Hungary, • Ottoman Empire, • Bulgaria Casualties 5 million military, 3 million civilian (full list) 3 million military, 3 million civilian (full list) World War I, also known as the First World... Vic Clapham was the founder of the Comrades Marathon, the worlds largest ultra-marathon, of approximately 90 km held annually between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. ...

There have been several multiple winners of the event. The first was Arthur Newton who won five races in the 1920s (1922, 23, 24, 25 & 27). Bruce Fordyce won the race for an unprecedented eight consecutive years between 1981 and 1988; he won it for the ninth time in 1990. Frith van der Merwe was the first woman to set up astonishing records. Wally Hayward won the Comrades Marathon five times, the first as a 21 year old in 1930. ... Bruce Fordyce is a South African marathon and ultramarathon athlete. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Frith van der Merwe is a South African athlete. ...

Alberto Salazar won the race in 1994. Alberto Salazar (born August 7, 1958) is an American marathon runner of the 1980s. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ...

Wally Hayward is another race legend. He first won the race in 1930, and then came back to win it 1950 and 1953 (being the first runner to ever win the race in under six hours), and again in 1954. He ran the race again in 1988 at the age of 79, and ran his last comrades a year later.

The field size ranges between 10 000 and 13 000 runners each year, with a record field in 2000 of over 23000 runners. This makes it the world's largest ultra-marathon.


The Comrades Marathon Story Morris Alexander. Juta and Co 1976

External links

  • Official web page

  Results from FactBites:
Comrades Marathon - SouthAfrica.info (3188 words)
Ironically, it was only in the year after Hayward retired from the Comrades, after establishing new records for both the up and down runs and equalling the five wins of Newton and Ballington, that the effect of his wins on the public imagination was felt, and the field more than doubled to 100 athletes.
The 75th anniversary of the Comrades Marathon in 2000 was the largest ever staged, with a massive field of 23 961.
Comrades Marathon House at 18 Connaught Street, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, houses the Comrades Marathon Museum that includes photographs of former winners and an accurate scale model of the Comrades Marathon route.
One Of The Thoughest Long Distances (533 words)
The Comrades Marathon is the most popular road race in South Africa and the biggest ultra marathon in the world.
Comrades is the ultimate personal test of perseverance with the challenge coming from the testing route and the distance rather than from competitors who are more often than not seen as allies instead of rivals.
Comrades Marathon House, headquarters of this famous road race, has a museum which celebrates a number of facets to the event.
  More results at FactBites »



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