Comrades 2018 (Full statistical analysis)

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How The 2018 Men’s Comrades Down Run Was Won

In the men’s race, it’s all fun and games until well after the halfway mark at split five, the Winston Park – Pinetown split. This is where all eventual top five finishers run their fastest segment and sorts out the real contenders for the Comrades crown from the pretenders.

From Pinetown there are just five real challengers for the win (with Steven Way behind as a possible sixth). Bongmusa Mthembu turns on the gas and no one else comes close to match him over the last 21km – where he runs the fastest final two splits in the field.

There was a lot of talk about Steven Way’s strong finish but interesting to note that Bongmusa Mthembu was faster than him in all seven splits (and still significantly so over last two splits).

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Comrades 2022 Overall / Full Field Race Stats

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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).
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Comrades 2022 Elite Male Stats

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This is part of a trilogy of articles providing an in-depth statistical analysis of Comrades 2022. Also see the articles on Elite Women and Overall / Full Field statistical analysis (coming soon).

The Gold Standard

The male Gold pace per split graph is quite different from the female side of the field (see previous article). Over the first few splits, the frontrunning is done by a few TV runners (who fade fast and don’t feature in this graph) but the serious contenders stick together until the halfway mark at Drummond. Seven of the ten Golds are still together at Winston Park after which the fastest split of the race into Pinetown separates the good from the great.

From Pinetown, the only podium position in question is third with Dan Moselakwe eventually claiming it. Tete Dijana runs the fastest split in the field to Sherwood and further extends his lead to the finish line in Moses Mabhida – although he’s only the second fastest over the final split. The fastest final split belongs to 11th placed finished Gordon Lesetedi who just can’t reel in Lutendo Mapoto for the final Gold.

Tete Dijana ran the fastest split in the field to Sherwood to pull ahead of the rest of the field (photo courtesy of Marathonfoto.com)
Continue reading “Comrades 2022 Elite Male Stats”
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Comrades 2019 Overall Field Race Stats

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This article provides detailed analysis and statistics on the overall Comrades 2019 field. Statistics articles on the elite section of the field can be found here for the women and here for the men.

Participation Trends

This year saw a record number of Comrades entries (24,594) just ahead of the 2000 edition (24,552). However almost a quarter of the entrants (22.4%) did not make it to the start line (the year 2000 had a meagre 2.4% start line drop off). The start line drop off percentage varies a great deal each year, with the highest being a massive 35.1% in 2011 (20% is about average). Of note is that it rarely breached 10% when participants had to run a qualifying marathon before entering. Continue reading “Comrades 2019 Overall Field Race Stats”

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Comrades 2019: Mens Elite Field (All the Stats)

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The 94th Comrades Marathon and 48th Up Run was held on 9 June 2019. This is a stat by stat account of the Men’s Elite section of the race – with a few anecdotal interludes thrown in to break the statistical monotony.

The Gold Standard

Click to expand.

The race starts at a fast pace but everyone (other than a few naïve television commentators) knows that the first half of the Up Run is for the television cameras, the second half is where the medals are earned. Continue reading “Comrades 2019: Mens Elite Field (All the Stats)”

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