Comrades cheats exposed: How runners crook the system

06 June 2018 - 06:35 By Jessica Levitt
Runners near the finishing line of the Comrades Marathon.
Runners near the finishing line of the Comrades Marathon.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Unscrupulous athletes are faking their entry times into the Comrades Marathon and many are getting away with it‚ a Times Select investigation has revealed.

Days from now‚ thousands of runners will test their mettle by racing from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in the Comrades Marathon‚ the world’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon. All of them needed to run a standard 42.2km marathon in under five hours to qualify for the race.

But Times Select has learnt that some have entered false times to either get into the race or to improve their seeding‚ which gives them an effective earlier start time.

Three runners who spoke to Times Select on condition of anonymity admitted to either lying about their qualifying time or entering with unverified qualifying times. A fourth runner spoke about a cheating culture in his club.