Record number of runners set for Comrades 2019
The anxious wait is almost over for about 20 000 runners who are set to tackle the 94th edition of the Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 9 June.
SABC Sport will bring you live coverage of the 86.83km marathon on SABC 2 and also a YouTube live stream from 05:00am.
This year's race is an "Up Run" which commences in Durban and ends in Pietermaritzburg.
Thousands of runners will line up near the Durban City Hall for a 5:30am start on Sunday morning. The gruelling challenge, with its several infamous hills to conquer, ends 12 hours later at the Scottsville race course in the province’s capital city.
Preparations are well under way for the event which has seen a record number of entries.
“It’s the most number of entries that we had in the history of the Comrades. We have just over 25 000 entries of that 21 631 have qualified to start the race on Sunday morning. We expect about 20 000 to start,” says Race Director Rowyn James.
More than 2000 international runners have entered while a third of the field will be novices. The most popular occupation listed by runners is manager, more than 2400 of them will take on the challenge as well as 50 plumbers, seven judges and one mayor. The Comrades expo, where runners register, opens on Thursday in Durban.
Runners were cautioned about the warm weather forecast for race day.
“It’s going to be warm day on Sunday. We’ve made more than adequate provision in terms of refreshment stations, 43 well stocked refreshments stations on the route encouraging athletes to make sure that they hydrate regularly. The rule of thumb that we use is drink to thirst, keep well hydrated and that way ensure that you stay out of the medical tent,” explains James.
The refreshments include 30 000 litres of coke, 2 million water sachets and one and a half ton of cooked potatoes and runners can also count on the enthusiastic support all along the route to keep them going.