GENERAL

KwaZulu-Natal Premier congratulates Comrades Marathon winners

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has congratulated Comrades Marathon champions, Piet Wiersma of the Netherlands and South Africa’s Gerda Steyn, for winning the 97th edition of the race on Sunday.

Wiersma won the men’s race ahead of South Africa’s Dan Moselakwe, while Steyn won the women’s ultra-marathon, in a new record time.

As reported by The South African website, Sunday’s race was the 49th ‘up’ run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

Steyn, 34, won her third Comrades Marathon title – and second ‘up’ run – in a new record time of 5:49:46.

She picked up R2 075 000 for her win, courtesy of R825 000 for winning, R500 000 for the new record, R500 000 for a fastest ever average pace, R200 000 for being a South African winner and R50 000 for the Cell C Hot Spot incentive.

Meanwhile, Wiersma, 26, crossed the finish line in a time of 5:25:00.

Moselakwe finished second in 5:25:45, with Ethiopia’s Degefa Lafebo rounding out the podium in 5:27:49.

Wiersma won R825 000 for his efforts and was the first non-South African winner of the race since Zimbabwe’s Stephen Muzhingi triumphed in 2011.

The race started at 05:30 at the Durban City Hall and the final cut-off gun sounded 12 hours later at 17:30 at the Hollywoodbets Scottsville Racecourse.

The official route distance is 85.91km, making this year’s race the shortest ever Comrades Marathon.

COMRADES MARATHON ‘UP’ RUN RECORDS – UPDATED

Men

Leonid Shvetsov (Russia) – 5.24.39 (set in 2008)

Women

Gerda Steyn (South Africa) – 5.49:46 (set in 2024)

Acknowledged the 5 000 volunteers

“I am elated to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the 2024 Comrades Marathon. All who participated in the 97th edition of the Comrades Marathon are champions in their own right and their efforts have made the country and the province proud.

“On behalf of the provincial government and the people of KwaZulu-Natal, we congratulate the over 20 600 runners from different countries of the world who came to KwaZulu-Natal to participate in this gruelling (nearly) 86km ‘up’ run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. We also appreciate the spectators who lined up along the route to cheer up the runners and kept them motivated,” Dube-Ncube said.

The Premier also acknowledged the 5 000 volunteers who kept the runners safe and hydrated throughout the marathon and worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the event. 

She said the race is indeed not just a race, but a celebration of human potential and community made possible by the runners’ unwavering commitment and hard work. 

“This race continues to be a beacon of hope and a symbol of what is possible when we come together in the spirit of unity and perseverance. The Comrades Marathon is often revered as the ultimate human race, and is a unique and historic event that transcends the boundaries of sport. 

“It embodies the very essence of human endurance, camaraderie, and the pursuit of excellence. This year’s marathon has once again highlighted the remarkable feats that can be accomplished through perseverance and an unwavering commitment to one’s goals.

Dube-Ncube also noted that this year’s Comrades Marathon brought a much-needed economic boost to the economy of the province, with both Pietermaritzburg and Durban reporting high accommodation occupancy rates.

The Premier further acknowledged the sponsors who continue to make the Comrades Marathon a global iconic event. 

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