The legendary Comrades Marathon is the world's oldest and largest Ultramarathon. The Comrades was run for the first time on the 24th May 1921 and has been run every year since, with the exception of during World War II. The race was the brainchild of WWI veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate South African soldiers killed during the war. Clapham himself had endured a 2,700km trek through East Africa during the war and wanted the memorial to be a supreme test of physical endurance.
Ultramarathons are any distance over the standard 42.2km marathon and this is one of the very best in the world. The Comrades is run between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal and alternates each year between an ‘up’ run starting from Durban, and the ‘down’ run starting from Pietermaritzburg, taking on the challenging ‘Big Five’ set of hills. The race distance slightly varies each year but is approximately 90kms. There are 20,000 entry places and runners must complete the course in under 12 hours, also reaching a number of cut-off points at allocated times to continue in the race. Runners must have completed an official ‘qualifying’ marathon in under 5 hours to enter this prestigious event.
The Comrades is a very special event and one that should be on all runners' tick list – the strong values of camaraderie, courage and commitment, dedication, passion and perseverance are key to making this event so unique.
Pre or post marathon the options are endless across South Africa. Our personal recommendation pre or post the Comrades would be to spend time relaxing in Durban before heading out to explore the fantastic region of KwaZulu-Natal. The biggest drawcard in the local area is to experience a safari in one of the many private game reserves, explore the Anglo-Zulu & Anglo-Boer battlefields, hike in the Drakensberg mountains or relax on the long and beautiful beaches of the region.
Of course, if you have a bit longer you could fly to Cape Town and explore the city's main attractions including Table Mountain, Robben Island or the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, or simply wander around the vibrant Waterfront, dine out at the many top restaurants, or relax on the beaches of Camps Bay. We can also organise trips to stay out at the world famous Winelands, go whale-watching in and around Hermanus or head out along the beautiful Garden Route.
There is so much to experience in South Africa, so do speak to us about adding on time in this special country.
Whether you are an experienced or novice runner and looking for a new challenge or just simply thinking about visiting the continent for the first time, we would love to speak to you. Our first aim is to get to know you, your running experience and aspirations, so we may best advise on which events would challenge you whilst giving you a high chance of success. So please do pick up the phone and give us a call. We look forward to speaking to you.