The official distance for the 96th Comrades Marathon Down Run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban has been confirmed by the Comrades Marathon Association’s (CMA) Route Portfolio, Department of Transports Road Traffic Inspectorate and Msunduzi Traffic. The distance for this year’s race will be 87.701km, which is nearly 2.2km shorter than last year’s Down Run.
The CMA Race Director, Rowyn James, confirmed the official race distance and also provided some interesting historical data about the race’s past distances. For example, in 2016, when the race finished at the HollywoodBets Kingsmead Cricket Stadium, the race distance was 89.208km, the same year in which David Gatebe set the current best Down Run time of 5:18:19. Similarly, when Frith van der Merwe set the still standing ladies best Down Run time of 5:54:43 in 1989, also at the Kingsmead Cricket Stadium, the distance was 89.6km.
The variations in distances over the years are mainly due to roadworks and varying routes taken on the run out of Pietermaritzburg.
James also confirmed the cut-off times for this year’s race. There are 5 cut-off points along the route, and runners must reach these points before the specified times to continue on the course. The cut-off times are as follows:
|CUT – OFF||RUNNING TIME||TIME OF DAY|
|Cato Ridge(N3 Subway)||04:30:00||(10h00)|
|Winston Park(Caltex Garage)||08:10:00||(13h40)|
|Pinetown(St. Johns Avenue Subway)||09:20:00||(14h50)|
Additionally, James has advised runners to make their way to the start of the race early to avoid the traffic congestion caused by ongoing N3 roadworks.
The 2023 Comrades Marathon Down Run is scheduled for Sunday, 11 June 2023. The race will start at 05h30 at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall and end 12 hours later at the Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Cricket Stadium in Durban. The official route distance is 87.7km, and this will be the 48th Comrades Down Run.
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