Few days back, I launched a small initiative (actually, the idea is from my running friend, Aditya) to connect with Indian runners (or runners from India) who might be interested to run the Comrades Marathon on May 30th, 2010. The Comrades Marathon is the world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon run over a distance of approximately 89 km between the capital of the Kwazulu-Natal Province of South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, and the coastal city of Durban. The direction of the race alternates each year between the up run starting from Durban and the down run starting from Pietermaritzburg, 2010 being the “down run“.
Event website: http://www.comrades.com/
About 12-14,000 runners run the 89 KM run most of the years. 2000 was a special year and saw 24,000 participants running the 89K. That’s right, not the fun runs, not half marathon, not the 42K marathon, all 24,000 running the 89K. Year 2010 is the 85 anniversary of the run, and falls on May 30th, just before the Football World Cup kicks off in South Africa. 20,000 runners are expected to take part with increased quota. The race has a 12 hour cutoff (with intermediate cutoffs too) in which you either finish the race, or you are royally escorted out, in a pickup bus!
As part of my learning about Comrades, I went through all the results pages from 1921 to 2009, that’s right, each and every results page, searching for runners (or rather finishers) from India. Surprisingly, I found none, not even one Comrades finisher from India in all these 84 years! That was really, really shocking! So, 2010 does present Indian runners with a wonderful opportunity to create history by being the first ever Indian finisher at Comrades!
So, I thought why not use this opportunity and combine the most popular social networking platform ‘Facebook‘ to create awareness, and help people get in touch. So, this Facebook group – titled – “Indian Runners for Comrades Marathon 2010” was launched. The intent is to support each other towards the final goal, in terms of information, training progress, logistics, etc. We are currently small team of 26 interested people, and the list is growing. If you are interested, please join the Facebook group (If you are not on Facebook, you will have to create an account first). The group website location is: