Durban - Bongmusa Mthembu won his maiden Comrades Marathon after clinching the 2014 'down run' title by a comfortable margin in Durban on Sunday.
The Nedbank runner, winner of three previous gold medals in one of the world's most famous ultra marathons, crossed the line in a time of 5:28.34.
He finished the 89.28km race over four minutes ahead of Ludwick Mamabolo, the defending 'down run' winner from 2012 who recorded a time of 5:33.14.
Mthembu, from Bulwer just outside Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, took the lead just before Cowies Hill - approximately 17km before the Kingsmead Stadium finish - and never looked back, finishing strongly on his way to claiming the R350 000 top-prize.
Gift Kelehe, brother of 2001 winner Andrew, came third in a time of 5:34.39 with three-time former champion Stephen Muzhingi (5:35.18) of Zimbabwe fourth, followed by countryman Rufus Photo (5:35.30) in fifth.
Meanwhile, the woman's race was won by British-born Canadian, Eleanor Greenwood, ahead of the Nurgalieva twins, Elena and Olesya.
Results from the 2014 Comrades Marathon men's race run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday:
1. Bongmusa Mthembu (Nedbank RC) KZN 5:28:34
2. Ludwick Mamabolo (Nedbank RC) GAUTENG 5:33:14
3. Gift Kelehe (Samancor Chrome MC) LIMPOPO 5:34:39
4. Stephen Muzhingi (Toyota AC) ZIMBABWE 5:35:18
5. Rufus Photo (Pietersburg RR) LIMPOPO 5:35:30
6. Mncedisi Mkhize (Maxed Elite) KZN 5:36:06
7. Jonas Buud (Nedbank RC) SWEDEN 5:38:17
8. Manoko William Mokwalakwala GAUTENG 5:39:29
9. Prodigal Khumalo (Maxed Elite) ZIMBABWE 5:39:36
10. Latudi Makofane (Samancor CM) Limpopo 5:40:41
Results from the 2014 Comrades Marathon women's race run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday:
1. Eleanor Greenwood (Nedbank RC) GREAT BRITAIN six hours, 18 minutes and 15 seconds (6:18:15)
2. Elena Nurgalieva (Toyota AC) RUSSIA 6:23:18
3. Olesya Nurgalieva (Toyota AC) RUSSIA 6:24:51
4. Irina Antropova (Nedbank RC) RSA 6:34:08
5. Jo Meek (Toyota AC) GREAT BRITAIN 6:47:02
6. Caroline Wostmann (Nedbank RC) GAUTENG 6:51:43
7. Zola Budd Pieterse (Hooters AC) RSA 6:55:55
8. Frida Sdermark (GoIF Tjalve) SWEDEN 6:57:33
9. Martinique Potgieter (Pietersburg RR) LIMPOPO 7:00:46
10. Julanie Basson (Toyota AC) GAUTENG 7:02:50
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