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Comrades Race Kicks Off This Weekend

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published May. 27, 2011
One of the Russian twins, Elena or Olesya Nurgalieva are virtually assured wth a win. Photo: Sowetan

One of the Russian twins, Elena or Olesya Nurgalieva are virtually assured wth a win. Photo: Sowetan

There is no clear favorite in the men’s field.

The women’s race at this weekend’s Comrades Marathon in South Africa is pretty much a lock for a pair of Russian twins: Elena or Olesya Nurgalieva. The duo has dominated South Africa’s ultra scene for the past five years.

Elena won last year’s Comrades, a grueling 89K ultra, in 6:13:04, just a second ahead of her sister.

The men’s race is a whole different story; it’s wide open.

Stephen Muzhingi of Zimbabwe is hoping to secure his third title. However, Ludwick Mamabolo of South Africa, second-place finisher last year, may to a stop to that.

“The weather is perfect in Durban and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will still be good on Sunday,” Mamabolo said. “I have completed my training and am looking forward to becoming the first South African winner since Sipho Ngomane in 2005.”

Bongmusa Mthembu, also from South Africa, is someone to watch. He finished fourth last year, but was given third place after Sergio Motsoeneng was disqualified for cheating.

For More: The Sowetan

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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