Comrades Director Admits Race’s Toughness

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Sep. 2, 2013
  • Updated Sep. 2, 2013 at 10:05 PM UTC
Comrades ends in Durban, South Africa next year. Photo:

He says the South African ultra’s appeal is its difficulty.

Johan Van Staden has a tough job: He’s the race director of one of the most difficult races in the history of running, the Comrades Marathon.

The annual South African ultra marathon that alternates direction every year (up vs. down) is celebrating its 89th edition next year in which it runs 89K “down” from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. The event will take place on June 1.

“Comrades is an extremely hard race and hard is what makes it great,” Van Staden said, according to an article posted on the Super Sport Web site. “You have that sense of achievement when you finish the race and that just makes it great.”

This year’s event was extremely challenging with high winds and soaring temps.

“Our primary focus for the campaign revolves around educating the runners on how hard the race is and the preparation required for the comrades marathon,” said Van Staden.

Entry for the race began on Monday and ends on November 30.


Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at 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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