The ups and downs of ultra running
The Comrades Marathon is the world’s largest and oldest ultra marathon with a distance of about 89km. This fantastic event takes place every year in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The direction of the race changes every year, alternating between the ‘up run’ (87km) starting from Durban and the ‘down run’ (89km) starting from Pietermaritzburg.
Locals regard the race as part of their tradition and with complete TV broadcasting, huge crowds of fans and breathtaking South African scenery, every participant finds the extra Power to Perform to reach beyond their limit. Mizuno is the race sponsors, and are proud to be involved with such a long-standing, iconic event.
Paul Copson, Mizuno Brand Manager in South Africa says: "When the opportunity arose for us to take over the Comrades Marathon we literally jumped at this opportunity. For Mizuno our credentials as a technical, Japanese, authentic sports performance brand, this was the ultimate synergy."
The spirit of the Comrades Marathon is embodied by attributes of camaraderie, selflessness, dedication, perseverance, and ‘Ubuntu’ a term that roughly translates as ‘humanity towards others’. Indeed nothing can describe the experience of taking part: cheering crowds, music groups, people dancing and highly motivated athletes! It is, simply put, an incredible running celebration!
Even when it gets hard, runners are immediately offered something else to give them that Power to Perform: whether it’s the enthusiastic spectators, pumping music or an athlete with an extraordinary costume – the long road never gets boring.
The highlight is crossing the finish line in the Moses Mabhida Stadium where clapping and shouting spectators celebrate every single athlete. Finishing this marathon is a titanic achievement, even for highly accomplished runners.
The 2019 Comrades Ultra Marathon takes place on Sunday 9 June and will be an ‘Up Run’ (89km) starting from Durban.
Get an impression of what makes the Comrades Marathon so special and how South Africa is celebrating the Power to Perform of the participants.