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Comrades Marathon

The Comrades Marathon is an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km (approx. 56 miles) which is run annually in the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon race. The direction of the race alternates each year between the “up” run (87 km) starting from Durban and the “down” run (89 km) starting from Pietermaritzburg. Runners over the age of 20 qualify when they are able to complete an officially recognised marathon (42.2 km) in under five hours.

During the event an athlete must also reach five cut-off points in specified times to complete the race. The field is capped at 23,000 runners, and entrants hail from more than 60 countries. In all but three runnings since 1988, over 10,000 runners have reached the finish within the allowed 11 or 12 hours. With increased participation since the 1980s, the average finish times for both genders, and the average age of finishers have increased substantially. Runners over the age of 20 qualify when they are able to complete an officially recognised marathon (42.2 km) in under five hours.

During the event an athlete must also reach five cut-off points in specified times to complete the race. The spirit of the Comrades Marathon is said to be embodied by attributes of camaraderie, selflessness, dedication, perseverance, and ubuntu.

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