The Comrades Marathon 2016
The Comrades Marathon is considered to be the world's greatest ultra-marathon standing at 89.9 kilometres long and attracting thousands upon thousands of participants each year. The next edition of the ultra-marathon will be returning on the 29th of May 2016.
The running route alternates each year between the 'up-run' or the 'down-run'. The 'up-run' is considered slightly more challenging, starting at the city hall in Durban and finishing at the cricket oval in Pietermaritzburg. This year, runners will embark on the 'down-run' where the race will commence at the city hall in Pietermaritzburg with the finishing line at Durban's Kingsmead Stadium.
The race is an annually held South African event. Its popularity has grown over the years after the first inaugural event that was held in 1921. Running enthusiasts flock from all over the world to participate in the event and are egged on by a vast number of spectators.
The event attracts over 13 000 runners, with the 2016 event having reached a record-breaking capacity of 20 000 entrants. For the past 16 years, it has been mandatory for runners to monitor their progress and timing through the use of the ChampionChip. The ChampionChip is attached to the shoelaces of each runner. This device gives each contestant a personal code and transmits data back to the Comrades Marathon database whenever a reading mat is crossed on the route. This ensures that the most accurate of records are kept not only in finishing times but also in split times between runners taken at intervals during the run.
The race boasts many picturesque views as it winds its way towards the subtropical greenery of the KwaZulu Natal coastline. Points of interest along this route include the Wall of Honour - the halfway point between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. This landmark has been permanently established in order to mark the great achievement participants have made in running this marathon, and to inspire tired athletes to carry on running.
The Comrades is a South African institution that should not be missed whether one is a participant, spectator or sponsor.
Please click map for interactive version.
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