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 Female 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 statistical analysis articles on Elite Men and Overall / Full Field (coming soon).

The Gold Standard

The graph below shows the average pace between each timing mat for the top ten. Adele Broodryk makes an early move between Lynnfield Park and Cato Ridge (one of only two splits where a female runner dips below 4min/km) but she can’t hold the pace through halfway.

The big (and definitive) move usually happens between Winston Park and Pinetown in the down run this year is no different. Morozova smashes the fastest pace of the race (3:52) and, although she slows on the Sherwood split (which includes Cowies Hill), she extends her lead with no one else coming close to matching her.

Morozova’s pace over the two splits from Winston Park to Sherwood was the difference at Comrades 2022 (photo courtesy of Marathonfoto.com)
Continue reading “Comrades 2022 Elite Female 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: Ladies Elite Field (All the Stats)

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A stat by stat account of the Comrades 2019 Women’s Race.

The Gold Standard

Click to expand.

Gerda Steyn was in a class of her own smashing the record and becoming the first lady to break six hours on the Up Run (only three ladies have achieved this on the Down Run). After a fast start by Ann Ashworth (2018 Down Run winner) and Camille Herron (defending Up Run champion), Steyn takes the lead early on and no one comes close to keeping up with her.

Fields Hill fractures the field directly after Pinetown. Alexandra Morozova makes her move before Drummond but can’t keep pace with Steyn and settles for second. After starting slowly, Caitriona Jennings blasts her way to halfway but struggles over the latter states of the race (doing well to hang onto third position). The most interesting pacing is by the local Kwazulu Natal debutant Jenna Challenor, who produces a great even run for a sixth place finish. Continue reading “Comrades 2019: Ladies Elite Field (All the Stats)”

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Mielie Marathon (The Amaizeing Race)

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[Marathon #202 / 2nd Mielie Marathon / 19 January 2019]

When I was young and naïve I thought you had to wait until the end of January to run your first marathon of the year. Luckily, I’m older and wiser now – and this new-found wisdom has unearthed two great options for those that want to get their first marathon done a week earlier: Either go digging for diamonds in the Kalahari Desert or butter your mielie in Welkom.

Mielie is a flat marathon through the Free State gold and cornfields.

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