The Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon Logo

The Marathon

The Comrades Marathon is the world's oldest and largest ultra-marathon run over a distance of approximately 90 km (55.9 mi) between the capital of the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, and the coastal city of Durban. The direction of the race alternates each year between the up run starting from Durban and the down run starting from Pietermaritzburg.

The Course

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.


The Comrades was run for the first time on 24 May 1921 (Empire Day), and with the exception of a break during World War II, it has been run every year since. The 2008 event was the 83rd race. The race was the idea of World War I veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during the war. Clapham, who had endured a 2,700-kilometre route march through sweltering German East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants. The constitution of the race states that one of its primary aims is to "celebrate mankind's spirit over adversity".


Athletes currently have 12 hours to complete the course. This was extended from 11 hours in 2003. There are a number of cut-off points along the routes which runners must reach by a prescribed time or be forced to retire from the race. A runners who has successfully completed 9 marathons wears a yellow number, while those who have completed 10 races wear a green number, which is permanently allocated to the runner for all future races. Medals are awarded to all runners completing the course in under 12 hours.


Gold Medals: First 10 men and first 10 women.
Wally Hayward Medals (Silver centred medal circled by gold ring) : 11th position to sub 6hrs 00min
Silver Medals: 6hrs 00min 01sec to sub 7hrs 30min.
Bill Rowan Medals (Bronze centred medal circled by silver ring) : 7hrs 30min to sub 9hrs 00min.
Bronze Medals: 9hrs 00min to sub 11hrs 00min.
Vic Clapham Medals (Copper Medal): 11hrs 00min to sub 12hrs 00min.

Text supplied by Wikipedia

Runners at the Comrades

Contact Details



Email:Comrades M

Comrades Winner

Wally Hayward


Comrades Start in Pmb

Runners starting the comrades