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Comrades Marathon 2012

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Published on Jun 1, 2012

Comrades 2012, the ultimate human race, is run by nearly 20 000 people this coming Sunday, 3 June, and is broadcast live on SABC 2. The event, which starts this year at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05:30, is run over 89km (56 miles) to end at the Sahara Kingsmead Stadium in Durban and most participants will take the larger part of the day to complete the distance.

Very strict rules apply to this well-known race. Entries closed at the end of November 2011 and no late entries are accepted. After completing 25 Comrades races, entry is free. Each runner has to run with a ComputerChip (passive transponder) which is laced onto your shoe and which carries a unique code, linked to your information in the Comrades Marathon database.

Membership of the coveted Comrades Marathon Green Number Club is obtained after 3 wins, 5 gold medals or more than 10 medals.

The hardship, Vic Clapham, a railway engine driver, witnessed during the First World War, left a lasting impression, especially the camaraderie in overcoming these situations. When peace was declared in 1918, Clapham felt that all those who had fallen should be remembered and honoured in a unique way. Remembering the searing heat and thirst of the parched veld during his time on the North African front, Clapham asked for permission to stage a 56 mile race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, under the name of the Comrades Marathon as a living memorial to the spirit of the soldiers of the Great War.

The first Comrades Marathon took place on 24th May 1921, starting outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg with 34 runners.

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