South Africans dominate Comrades

2018-06-13 06:00
Runners in high spirits raise their hands in unison as they run the downhill version of the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.PHOTOS: NHlanhla Nkosi

Runners in high spirits raise their hands in unison as they run the downhill version of the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.PHOTOS: NHlanhla Nkosi

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A SOUTH African-dominated podium capped off an incredible race day on Sunday as close to 19 000 runners bravely took on the 90,184 km challenge from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in the 93rd edition of the Comrades Marathon.

Many spectators braved the cold morning to show their support for the runners, turning up in hundreds to spur the racers on throughout the race from the side-lines.

For many this was the first time they had taken on the gruelling marathon and for one man in particular it was a dream come true to finish the race on his first attempt.

Mfundo Mkhize, a long-time admirer of the race, finally decided to embark on the journey and completed his race in 10 hours and 38 minutes.

Bulwer resident Bongmusa Mthembu won the race for the third time, finishing five minutes ahead of the nearest challenger and became the second South African to win the race two times in a row after Bruce Fordyce.

Mthembu said he felt privileged to win the Comrades again and that he was proud of his fellow countrymen and women for dominating the South African race.

Another South African, Ann Ashworth, was the first woman to cross the finish line in a time of 06:10:04.

Pietermaritzburg resident and Comrades Marathon enthusiast Duncan Anthon said it was an absolute pleasure to get up in the morning and cheer the runners on at the beginning of the race, and then follow it throughout the day on television.

“It is really a fantastic thing to see these runners so dedicated to complete the race.

“I hope that one day I’ll be amongst them,” said Anthon.

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