Comrades a record breaker

2010-10-19 19:04

Johannesburg - This year's Comrades Marathon made a Guinness World Record for the most runners in an ultra-marathon, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) said on Tuesday.

The field was the largest since the turn of the millennium, with 14 343 runners completing the race within the 12-hour cut-off time, the CMA said in a statement.

"Applying for the record attempt was quite a process, and organising and collecting all the necessary evidence was an event in itself," said CMA marketing co-ordinator Thami Vilakazi.

"Achieving this feat was a wonderful and befitting way to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the ultimate human race," he said.

Vilakazi said witness statements independently corroborating the achievement were submitted to Guinness World Records by Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business chief executive officer Andrew Layman and The Witness newspaper's general manager of national sales and marketing Dave Erasmus.

"We have long been of the belief that the ultimate human race was a feat in itself. It's good to have that confirmed by such an authoritative body," said Layman.

"It is very special that 'The City of Choice' that is Pietermaritzburg, can once again host a Guinness World Record.

It is extremely rewarding and is a definite 'thumbs-up' to all those who make the Comrades not just possible, but successful, year in and year out," added Erasmus.


  • sbusiso - 2010-10-19 19:47

    so it show's the worthy of having this roadshows rotating national, its da living proof of that poeple are fit& prepard to finish in time....

  • FOTA - 2010-10-19 21:05

    Huh??. 25000 starters in 2000, definitely more than 16000 finishers because I was in the late 16000's. Or was Comrades 2000 not after the turn of the millenium?. I was one that believed 31 December 2000 was the last day of the old millenium but this was not popular consensus.

  • Neill Levy - 2010-10-19 21:22

    Despite being a Comrades fan, I feel compelled to point out that it is a long way from being "the ultimate human race". For example, the Iditerod in Alaska, while also involving sled dogs is a far more taxing race for the participating humans than the Comrades. There are a several foot races in the US that make the Comrades seem like a picnic, for example, the Angeles Crest hundred miler in California. Comrades' unique distinction is its popularity and prominent place in SA culture but this does not make it the ultimate race.

  • Jo - 2010-10-20 08:01

    Quote: "Pietermaritzburg can once again host a Guinness World Record". Does Durban not have a teensy, weensy little bit to do with the Comrades. The two cities are inter-dependent on each other as far as Comrades is concerned - you can't separate the one from the other! Even if the race started in Pmb in 2010, they still finished in Durban, so at best, Pmb is a co-host. Nothing like taking all the credit... but well done anyway.

  • DD - 2010-10-20 08:28

    For me the Comrades is the ultimate human race, as it is nearly possible for anyone to do it. I also think its the best supported race ever. i cant remember any point in the race that there wasn't people around clapping shouting and cheering. The race does not only involve the runners, but the helpers (thanks guys) and the crowds and supporters. As well the family members who sacrificed their whole weekend to assist the one runner in their family. If you cant say anything positive about the comrades, keep your mouth shut, you don't belong here...

  • Nicky Verster - 2010-10-20 10:15

    Thanking all of you for making this possible.

  • D Fisher - 2010-10-20 11:30

    I think some of the people who posted comments kind of confused the point of the Comrades being called the 'ultimate human race', and it being recognised by the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's largest Ultra Marathon by number of competitors. Is it NOT the biggest Ultra Marathon in the world? Taking nothing away from the sled dog race in Alaska, I know it must be one heck of a challenge! I reckon the Comrades is the most accessible 'ultimate human race' that anybody in the world can do given the right amount of willpower. I think that's the point! Well done Comrades! To me, you earned the said world record many years ago...

  • D @ Neil - 2010-10-21 07:27

    The Comrades is by no means the longest race in the world, there are numerous other 100 miler races in SA and all over the world, as well as endurance events lasting days that only a very, very few elite athletes could ever compete in. The tagline 'The Ultimate Human Race' emcompasses the Comrades as a whole, what it stands for initially being run for fallen war hero's in an amazing gesture to families of anyone who has fought in a war, the length of the event being 85 times run over +-90 years is incredible. The distance of two marathons and a time trial is also nothing to be laughed at. The support from spectators along the entire route, the drama of the finish and the emotion of the start. Maybe in SA what is more appropriate is that no matter who you are or where are from on the day you are equal to the man/woman next to you. Whether you're a CEO of a listed company or unemployed in a township, none of that matters on the day. The traditions, the history, running past the school for handicapped children near Drummond... the list could go on. Comrades is an incredible experience, everyone should try at least once.

  • @Jo - 2010-11-05 14:22

    Comrades House is in Durban, and the first race was a down run from PMB to Durbs, by a bunch of Maritburgers, so I think it is appropriately a PMB record. Durban is the co-host.

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