Saturday, May 28, 2011

Marathon mileage

Ninety years after the race was first run, the Comrades Marathon remains as relevant as ever and as much a permanent fixture on the South African sporting calendar as events such as rugby's Currie Cup and the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Should you doubt it, just pop down to the start of this year's race in Durban on Sunday morning and sample the nearly 20 000 runners who will line up for what is an "up run", that is, a start in Durban and finish in Pietermaritzburg, just less than 90km later.

But, what's interesting is the various takes on what the modern Comrades represents, as opposed to the founding principles of the event, which originated nearly a century ago, thanks to the efforts of race founder Vic Clapham.