20 October 2010
Guinness World Records has recognised South Africa’s famous ultra-marathon, the Comrades, as the event with “the most runners in an ultra-marathon”. The 2010 race had 23 568 entries, with 14 343 runners finishing before the 12-hour cut-off time.
The Comrades Marathon applied for a place in the Guinness World Records as part of its 85th anniversary this year.
Second largest field in history
The field for the 2010 race was the largest since the Millennium race of 2000 and the second-largest since the race began in 1921.
“Applying for the record attempt was quite a process, and organising and collecting all the necessary evidence was an event in itself,” Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) marketing manager Thami Vilakazi said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Achieving this feat was a wonderful and befitting way to celebrate the 85th anniversary of ‘The Ultimate Human Race.'”
World’s greatest ultra
The recognition by Guinness the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievements, cements the Comrades Marathon’s place as the world’s number one ultra-marathon.
“We have long been of the belief that ‘The Ultimate Human Race’ was a feat in itself,” said Andrew Layman of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business. “It’s good to have that confirmed by such an authoritative body.”
Endurance world records
The city of Pietermaritzburg is now home to two major endurance event world records.
The Midmar Mile, which is organised by the Pietermaritzburg Seals Swimming Club, was previously recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest open water swimming event.
The city also hosts the start of the annual Dusi Canoe Marathon, which has been touted as the largest canoe marathon in the world. Perhaps it is time for the Dusi organisers to hop on the bandwagon and invite Guinness World Records to confirm another endurance world record for the city.
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