The race is still on for the thousands, as the winners are already through with theirs. More than 12,000 runners from 47 countries participated in the Comrades this year, a rise in participation count of 17% over the previous year.
Last years 3rd place finisher, 33 year old Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhingi won the mens race in a time of 05:23:26, which is the second fastest time ever, behind Russian Leonid Shvetsov’s 2007 time of 05:20:49. Stephen was 3rd in Comrades 2008, 7th in 2007 and was 4th in this years Two Oceans. Defending champion Leonid Shvetsov (winner 2007, 2008) was second in 05:33:05 and Charles Tjiane (South African) was third in 05:34:18.
From twitter updates, I can see that out of the top 10 finishers, 9 are from Africa (including 8 from SA) and 1 Russian. Watching the live streaming video from the Comrades website, though a defective power adapter means I am out of sound.
Russian twin sisters Olesya (winner 2007) and Elena Nurgalieva (winner 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008) lead from the front, and were separated by just 3 seconds at the finishing line, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. Oleysya’s time was 6:12:08 and Elena (last year winner) finished in 6:12:11. The twins had earlier won at the Two Oceans 56 KM run this year, where they finished the run with their hands joined, and the judges had a tough time deciding who was first!
Russian Tatyana Zhirkova (winner 2005) was 3rd in 6:15:00, another 3 minutes behind. 36 year old Farwa Mentoor was the first South African to finish, in 5th position in 6:45:03. Farwa has a number of top 10 places over the last several years.
- Stephen Muzhingi (ZIM) 5:23:27
- Leonid Shvetsov (RUS) 5:33:10
- Charles Tijane (SA) 5:34:21
- Fusi Nhlapo (SA) 5:36:17
- LucasNonyana (SA) 5:39:29
- Mncedisi Mkhize (SA) 5:41:14
- Bongmusa Mthembu (SA) 5:41:52
- Peter Molapo (SA) 5:42:25
- Bethuel Netshifthefhe (SA) 5:43:35
- Harmans Mokgadi (SA) 5:44.49
- Olesya Nurgalieva (RUS) 06:12:12
- Elena Nurgalieva (RUS) 06:13:14
- Tatyana Zhirkova (RUS) 06:15:03
- Marina Myshlyanova (RUS) 06:30:42
- Farwa Mentoor (SA) 06:45:33
- Lesley Train 07:01:07
- Marina Bychkova 07:03:24
- Lindsay Van Aswegen 07:08:55
- BelindaWaghorn 07:09:36
- Kashmira Parbhoo 07:16:13
Some interesting stats from the event:
12,952 runners entered the race, 11,505 started the race, 10,006 finished the race. So, 86.9 % of the starters finished the race.
On the medical front, 671 runners required treatment, which is less than 2% of the field. 58 runners were hospitalized. 3 runners had seizures and were admitted to intensive care.