More than 14 000 runners are tackling this year’s Comrades Marathon on Sunday morning. The marathon dubbed the ‘ultimate human race’ started a short while ago.
The preparations done over the last couple of months are being put to the test as runners descend almost 90 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg to Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Athletes from 72 countries are running this year’s Comrades Marathon from outside Pietermaritzburg City Hall. This is the first time runners will physically participate since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top contenders for the 2022 Comrades Marathon include the 2019 champion Edward Mothibi. The distance for this year’s down run race is just over 200m shy of 90 km.
The mayor of Umsunduzi municipality Mzimkhulu Thebolla fired the gun at 05: 30 to signal the start of the 95th running of the Ultimate human race outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.
Sussie Mjwara of KwaMashu Athletic Club is running the grueling ultramarathon for the first time. Mjwara says she’s both excited and nervous.
“The first time I got to see Comrades Marathon live in close view it was in 2017 I saw that others were excited others were almost dying along the way and I saw that what we see on TV and what is happening, in reality, are two different things however it was there when my dream of wanting once in my lifetime to run Comrades Marathon and 2022 that opportunity has arrived I will be running my first Comrades Marathon and my excitement is overflowing but truth be told over and above the excitement, I’m also very nervous somewhere.”
Photo Gallery of 2022 Comrades Marathon before the start of the race by Sandile Zikhali:
Comrades Association Member Steve Mukasi says all Russian athletes will be able to claim their prizes if they achieve top honours in today’s Comrades Marathon.
Russian athlete Alexandra Morozova on Saturday successfully challenged being blocked from competing by taking the Comrades Marathon Association in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Morozova is one of the top contenders to possibly win the race. Mukasi says any of the Russian athletes can legitimately claim any prizes due to them.