Comrades in unity


There was no shortage of local support for the 20 000 athletes that took on the 97th Comrades Marathon – the 49th Up Run and the shortest of the Up Runs with a distance of 85.91km. In the men’s race, Netherlands’ Piet Wiersma won his first Comrades Marathon title in a dominant fashion, crossing the finish line at Scottsville Race Course in Pietermaritzburg in a time of 05:25:00. Known as the ‘unknown Dutchman’, Wiersma won the hearts of many South Africans last year when he finished second, a mere three seconds behind winner Tete Dijana. In the women’s race, Gerda Steyn was crowned Queen of the Comrades Marathon as she won her third Comrades Marathon title and broke her own Up Run record time finishing in 05:49:46. She is now set to represent South Africa at the Olympics in Paris. This race continues to be a beacon of hope and a symbol of what is possible when we come together in the spirit of unity and perseverance.

Photos: Shiraz Habib