Comrades 2022 Overall / Full Field Race Stats


This is part of a trilogy of articles providing an in-depth statistical analysis of Comrades 2022. The articles on Elite Men and Elite Women are also available.

Getting to the Start

The graph below is a hurricane funnel answering the often-asked question, “What happens to all the entries?”

16479 enter, 1688 don’t bother to submit a qualifier, 661 don’t make it to registration, 916 collect their race pack but don’t start and 1503 fall on the road to Durban leaving us with 11711 Comrades 2022 finishers.

Note: The finisher numbers are for all people earning that medal or better. For example, the ‘Vic Clapham’ 11711 are all finishers (i.e. 12 hours or better) and the ‘Bronze’ 7632 is everyone finishing 11 hours or better (i.e. it includes all Bronze, RM, BR, etc. medals).
Continue reading “Comrades 2022 Overall / Full Field Race Stats”

Run Like a Girl (A Guide to Optimal Pacing at the Comrades Marathon)


I like to run and I like to run the numbers. There is nothing quite like getting a really big dataset in one’s hands and playing around with the numbers. Once a year I allow myself this self-indulgence. Night after night, glass of red wine after glass of red wine, after everyone else in the household has gone to bed, I sit alone and pound away at my keyboard.

The Comrades data is quite predictable, every year the same patterns emerge. Most people start too fast and finish much slower, there is the Christmas tree finisher pattern where more people finish in the last 15 minutes of each medal cut-off than in any of the previous 15 minute segments.

This Christmas tree, pagoda pattern where more runners finish in the last 15 minutes of each medal cut-off occurs predictably every year.

Every year I come up with a few new ideas to add to the list of graphs and analysis I undertake – and if the findings are interesting enough I work this into conversations, corporate training materials and conference talks whenever I get the opportunity. I’ve run a lot of marathons and I’ve run a lot of data. However, this article covers the most surprising statistic I’ve found.

Continue reading “Run Like a Girl (A Guide to Optimal Pacing at the Comrades Marathon)”

Defective Humans (Uncovering cheats at Comrades 2022)


I have been a grumpy old Running Mann the last few months. A persistent injury will do that to your mood. Sadly, that means there are no new race reports but the silver lining is that time away from the road has left me with plenty of time to run Comrades statistics.

Most of the stats fall into the interesting and inspiring categories but the odd result jumps out and adds to my grumpiness. Uncovering cheats at the world’s greatest ultra marathon leaves a bad taste in my mouth and a shooting pain in my bad knee. Continue reading “Defective Humans (Uncovering cheats at Comrades 2022)”