Two Oceans 2024: Copycat cutoff chaos


Two Oceans are known to copy whatever Comrades does. Comrades’ prestigious Green Number Club was followed by Two Oceans’ Blue Number Club. When Comrades added an hour to their finish time, Two Oceans extended the same favour. When Comrades introduced qualification marathons, Two Oceans added the same criteria to take part. When Comrades introduced the Bill Rowan Medal between silver and bronze, Two Oceans quickly followed with the Sainsbury. I really didn’t think Two Oceans would copy Comrades’ cutoff debacle but here we are.

This article provides an in-depth independent investigation of organisational deficiencies, statistical analysis of previous results data and first-hand accounts of what happened at the Two Oceans marathon cutoff and top of Constantia Nek. It aims to drop a series of logic bombs amidst Two Oceans’ sea of debatable decisions and questionable explanations.

Executive Summary:

  • The 2024 marathon cutoff was 10 minutes stricter than for the 2022 and 2023 event (and 13 minutes stricter than pre-Covid events).
  • The change in cutoff conditions was not communicated effectively to participants.
  • Data from previous Two Oceans events was not used to determine the stricter cutoff times.
  • Data analysis shows that 55 participants who earned a medal in 2023 would have been cutoff with 2024 times. With entry number increases, this equates to +/-70 runners robbed of a medal in 2024.
  • Data analysis shows that Blue medallists typically run far faster than the 8:11/km allowed over the final 14km in 2024.
  • Female runners, who typically pace ultras better and finish faster, were negatively impacted dramatically more by the stricter marathon cutoff than were men.
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