Comrades Marathon 2024

6 June 2024 |

Every year, runners take on the Comrades Marathon, an 88-kilometer (55-mile) ultramarathon in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. This historic race, the largest and oldest of its kind, stretches between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The direction changes annually: one year, participants run from Durban, starting at 101 meters above sea level, and the next year, they run from Pietermaritzburg, beginning at 921 meters.

Over the years, the race has grown in popularity and prestige, attracting elite runners from around the world. Each year, anticipation builds as fans and experts discuss the favorites to win. Therefore look at past performances and current form to predict who might take home the coveted title in the Comrades Marathon 2024. 

Comrades History 

The Comrades Marathon first took place on May 24, 1921, which was Empire Day back then. Besides taking breaks during World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, it has been run every year. So far, over 300,000 runners have crossed the finish line of this tough race. 

World War I veteran Vic Clapham came up with the idea for the race to honor South African soldiers who died in the war. Enduring a grueling 2,700-kilometer march in German East Africa. He wanted a race that would be a true test of endurance and also a fitting tribute.

The race’s main goal is to “celebrate mankind’s spirit over adversity.” Clapham’s great grandson, Antony Clapham, kept the tradition alive. He ran and finished the race from 2012 to 2015, earning four medals named after his great-grandfather. 

So from 1962 to 1994, the race was held on Republic Day, May 31. But after the South African government scrapped this holiday in 1995, they moved the race to June 16, Youth Day. 

In 2007, the ANC Youth League pushed to change the date again to keep the focus on Youth Day. It was held on June 17 in 2007 and June 15 in 2008. The dates shifted again in 2009 and 2010 to avoid clashing with the Confederations Cup and World Cup hosted in South Africa.

When and where 

On Sunday, June 9, 2024, at 05:30 in Durban City Hall, the 49th Up Run will take place as part of the 97th Comrades Marathon. It will cover 85.91 kilometres and end 12 hours later at the HollywoodBets Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg.

Starting from Durban’s City Hall and ending in Pietermaritzburg, this year’s route covers about 85.9 kilometers, known as the “UP RUN.” The exact distance might change, just check the Final Race Instructions (FRI) for confirmation. 

The Comrades Marathon competition this year has somewhat bigger stakes because the top ten finishers will receive 10% more money than they did last year. That means that the first man and woman to cross the finish line will receive R55,000.

Comrades Marathon Race Route

The race winds through the roads of KwaZulu-Natal province, passing by the famous “Big Five” hills. On the up run, encountering Cowies Hill, Fields Hill, Botha’s Hill, Inchanga, and Polly Shortts in that order. The highest point of the race, reaching 2,850 feet (870 m) above sea level, is near the Umlaas Road interchange. 

Along the route, there will be around 40 official refreshment stations. Stations stocked with goodies like soft drinks, water, energy drinks, fruits, biscuits, energy bars, and even cooked potatoes. This all to keep the participants fueled up. Plus, there are about eight physiotherapy and first aid stations. Strategically placed along the way to lend a hand if needed. 

Past Runner Results

South Africa’s Tete Dijana clinched his second consecutive Comrades Marathon victory in 2023. He smashed the course record as he crossed the finish line at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Cricket Stadium. He finished in an impressive time of 05:13:58. 

At 34 years old, Dijana outpaced the previous Down Run record set by David Gatebe in 2016, clocking in at 05:18:19. He joins an elite group as the 18th male runner to secure multiple Comrades Marathon wins. 

Piet Wiersma, a fellow member of the Nedbank Running Club from The Netherlands, kept Dijana on his toes until the very end. He finished just seconds behind in second place with a time of 05:14:01. Edward Mothibi, the 2019 champion, claimed third place. 

On the women’s side, South Africa’s Gerda Steyn, already holding the Up Run record. She seized the women’s title and set a new Down Run course record! Therefore crossing the finish line in a remarkable time of 05:44:54. This surpassed the previous record set by Frith van der Merwe in 1989, clocking in at 05:54:43. Adele Broodryk and Carla Molinaro finished second and third, respectively. 

Runners to look out for 

Manager Nick Bester carefully selected the lineup for the Two Oceans, also some of these stars will also run the Comrades Marathon. Star runners like Tete Dijana and Edward Mothibi. Onalenna Khonkhobe, a promising talent from Klerksdorp, led the Nedbank team at the Two Oceans and will be a potential front runner for the Comrades. 

In the women’s race, Adele Broodryk from the Nedbank club and American Andrea Pomaranski are set to compete. Gerda Steyn, eyeing a podium spot, brings her impressive marathon credentials. 

Coach Parry 

Lindsey Parry, the official Comrades coach, has been immersed in South Africa’s running scene since childhood. Thanks to his father’s Comrades success. Lindsey isn’t just a great runner himself; he’s also a top-notch coach. While some coaches excel with elite athletes and others with average runners. Lindsey stands out because he can work wonders with both He’s definitely one of a kind in the coaching world.

So tackle this glorious race!

Get ready for the 2024 Comrades Marathon, where runners from everywhere will tackle the challenging course with grit and determination. As the excitement builds, athletes gear up to face the tough terrain and steep hills. On race day, they’ll draw strength from the cheers of supporters lining the route. Elite athletes will race for glory, while everyday heroes push their limits to cross the finish line. Get set for an epic showdown that will inspire awe! As well as admiration in everyone who witnesses the triumph of the human spirit.

For all other major sports events in June peruse our June 2024 Sport Preview for all the details. Hollywoodbets is also always involved in some form or another when it comes these local sports events. They have a purple team running this epic event and every year they participate in this exhilarating edition of world famous ultramarathons.

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