Comrades Marathon

The Comrades Marathon is the world's oldest and largest ultra-marathon run over a distance of approximately 90 km (56.1 miles) between the capital of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, and the coastal city of Durban. The distance differs slights from year to year due to slight route changes.

The first Comrades Marathon took place on 24th May 1921, Empire Day, starting outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg with 34 runners. It has continued since then every year with the exception of the war years 1941-1945, with the direction alternating each year between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the so called up & down runs.

The 2015 race was an 'up' run so it started in Durban and finished in Pietermaritzburg. This was the first time that we'd watched it live and drove to Umlaas Road which is the highest point on the route.

Henry, who owns and runs The Coach House in Richmond, has run the Comrades in the past and is now one of the main officials for the race. He was at the start in Durban, which is where these 2 photos were taken.

The first runner to go through, a South African, Gift Kelehe, who went on to win the race in 5 hours 38 minutes. He was nearly 8 minutes ahead on the next runner.

The first woman through Umlaas Road, Caroline Wostmann, another South African who won the Woman's race in 6 hours 12 minutes.

Kevin watching runners passing us.


Young watchers getting high 5s from runners.

On several occasions we saw family members encouraging race participants.

On a couple of occasions we saw large groups go through together, keeping in step and chanting.

This uphill section just around the corner from where we were sitting challenged some of the runners.

Many different clubs and countries were represented.

 

1. Splashy Fen Music Festival. 4 days of music in the Drakensberg foothills

2. Chelmsford Dam. 3 trips to the dam taking the twins fishing.

3. Cars in the Park. Cars of all ages, bikes and more.

4. Clansthal, KZN South Coast. A long weekend by the sea.

5. Art in the Park. A 5 day display of South African artists.

6. Comrades Marathon. The oldest ultra-marathon in the world.

7. Creighton Aloe Festival. A trip on a steam train through beautiful countryside.

8. Richmond. Local events and improvements to our house.

Gift Kelehe crossing the line in Pietermaritzburg.

 

top of page