Home Sport Roadworks result in 2024 Comrades Marathon being the shortest ever

Roadworks result in 2024 Comrades Marathon being the shortest ever

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Upon completion of the official route course measurement, it has been confirmed that the official race distance of this year’s Comrades Marathon Up Run will be nearly 820m shorter than the last Up Run in 2019.

The last time that the race had finished at the Scottsville Racecourse five years ago, the race distance was 86,73km. File Picture: Bongani Mbatha, African News Agency (ANA)

The Comrades Marathon on Friday confirmed this year’s edition, to be held on June 9, from Durban to Pietermaritzburg will be 85,91km, making this the shortest route distance in the event’s history.

Upon completion of the official route course measurement conducted by the Comrades Marathon Association’s (CMA) Route Portfolio, Department of Transport’s Road Traffic Inspectorate, Durban Metro Police and Msunduzi Traffic, CMA Race & Operations Manager, Ann Ashworth has confirmed that the official race distance of this year’s Comrades Marathon Up Run will be nearly 820m shorter than the last Up Run in 2019.

The last time that the race had finished at the Scottsville Racecourse five years ago, the race distance was 86,73km; the same year in which reigning Comrades Marathon champion, Gerda Steyn set the current best Up Run time of 5:58:53 in the women’s race.

Furthermore, when Leonid Shvetsov set the still standing men’s best Up Run time of 5:24:49 in 2008, at The Oval Cricket Stadium in Pietermaritzburg, the distance was 86,94km. The difference in distances over the years is mainly due to the roadworks and varying routes taken on the run out of Durban.

Ongoing roadworks

This year the race has had to accommodate ongoing roadworks at the Umlaas Road Interchange and will follow a route through the suburbs of Cleland and Pelham, similar to that used in 2013 and 2015.

Ashworth has described the last 7km of the 2024 race route as follows: “From the top of Polly Shortts, runners will continue along the R103 / CB Downes Road, past the previous righthand turn into Murray Road used in 2017 and 2019; and continue into Washington Road bordering the sports fields of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.”

“With approximately 3km to go, runners will turn right into Oribi Road and head towards the Scottsville Racecourse along King Edward Avenue.

“The race’s iconic Toyota Mile will start at the intersection of King Edward Avenue and Alan Paton Drive where runners will turn left and then right into Connaught Road, passing Comrades Marathon House within the last kilometre of the race.

The entrance to this year’s finish straight will be off Surrey Road, with the result that runners will no longer need to pass through the tunnel beneath the Scottsville Racetrack.”

With 78 days to Comrades race day, Ashworth advised runners to make their way to the start of the race early saying: “Due to the ongoing roadworks, we ask that all of our athletes make their way to the Durban City Hall timeously to avoid the traffic congestion and potentially miss the start of the race.”

Supplied

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