26 May 2011 by Roy Barford

Comrades Marathon 2011 starts in Durban on Sunday

The 2011 Comrades Marathon starts from the Durban City Hall at 05h30 on Sunday. More than 19 000 runners have entered the 89km race, which finishes at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg.

According to the New Age newspaper, there are 253 runners from the United Kingdom, 179 from the United States, 152 from Australia and 115 from Brazil. For the first time ever, a team of elite Ethiopian runners will be taking part in the Comrades Marathon and many experts expect the 2011 winner to come from this team.

Spectators are advised to get to their preferred viewing point as early as possible. A description of the route on the Comrades Marathon website will help with planning.

The 2010 event, a downhill run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, was won by Stephen Muzhingi (pictured, photo courtesy of Clive Reid) from Zimbabwe in a time of 5:29:01.

The women’s race has for some years been dominated by Russian twins, Elena and Oleysa Nurgalieva, who came first and second respectively in 2010. In the recent Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town, Oleysa beat her sister to the finish line, as the sisters did it again for themselves in claiming first and second positions.

It will be a big upset if the 2011 Comrades Marathon women’s winner has a surname other than Nurgalieva.

According to a long-range weather forecast by the South African Weather Services, there is a chance of rain along the route on Sunday, but the temperature is still expected to be in the mid 20s.

If you are interested in taking part in future Comrades Marathon events, keep an eye on the Comrades Marathon website for entry information or phone the Comrades Marathon Association on +27(0)33 897 8650.

Category: Arts & Entertainment

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