The ultimate Comrades supporters' guide

07 June 2019 - 10:10 By Jessica Levitt
Thousands of people will be lining up at the Durban City Hall on Sunday for this year's Comrades Marathon.
Thousands of people will be lining up at the Durban City Hall on Sunday for this year's Comrades Marathon.
Image: COMRADES MARATHON ASSOCIATION

Twenty-five-thousand people entered the 2019 Comrades Marathon, taking place on Sunday.

Whether you're going to watch all the action from your couch or support from the sides between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, here's what you need to know.

Telly

Initially in doubt, the SABC and Comrades Marathon reached agreement that the race would be aired.  So, SABC2 (DStv channel 192) is the place to catch the action.

Live streaming

SABC will also live stream the event on its YouTube channel for those who can't bear to miss. those epic moments of runners giving it their all.

Times

Runners will be entering their chutes from 3.30am. At around 5.20am runners in the pens will hear Chariots of fire, Shosholoza and the national anthem. A cock will crow and the gun goes off at 5.30am, signalling the start of the race, which ends at 6pm.

Distance

The 94th edition of the world's oldest and largest ultra-marathon is 86.83km this year.  

Up-run

This year's up-run starts at the Durban City Hall and ends at Pietermaritzburg's Scottsville Racecourse.

Weather

The SA Weather Service has predicated a warm day for Durban, with temperatures of 13ºC to 24ºC. Humidity is expected to be 80%, with a slight north-easterly wind.

First-time supporter? 

If you're a novice supporter, you've got a long day ahead of you. Here are four top tips for race day:

• Plan where you'll meet your runner. The 50km and 70km marks are where the going gets tough and runners may feel they need extra support. Make sure to plan your route ahead of time. Think traffic and road closures.

• Your runner will appreciate supplies: eggs, potatoes, sunblock, gels, painkillers and a hug will go a long way.

• Remember to pack supplies for yourself. Make sure you've got food, drinks and sunblock.

• The end of the race can be confusing and packed. Use something that will make you easy to spot. Your runner has just completed 86kms. They'll likely just walk past you, so think a stick with bright ribbons or a poster.


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