Sport

RUNNING BATTLE

Steyn and Dijana look to make history as Comrades ups prize money

Steyn and Dijana look to make history as Comrades ups prize money
Gerda Steyn wins the 2023 Comrades Marathon, finishing at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, South Africa. 11 June 2023. (Photo: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Sunday’s Up Run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg has seen the overall Comrades Marathon prize money increase by R1,364,000 to a total of R4,092,000.

South Africans Gerda Steyn and Tete Dijana will both be looking to retain their Comrades Marathon titles from last year heading into the Up Run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.

Dijana, astonishingly, will be aiming for his third successive Comrades title. For Steyn, it will be her second one in a row and third in four years if her goals for Sunday come to fruition.

Steyn will contend in a tough women’s field including international athletes Alexandra Morozova (Russia), Dominika Stelmach (Poland), Carla Molinaro (UK) and Camille Herron (US) who will all be looking to grab her title.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Records tumble as South Africa’s Dijana and Steyn conquer the Comrades Marathon

The Nedbank Running Club athlete will also be pushing to break her own Up Run record time of 5:58:53, which she set in 2019.

For the non-elite runners though, of which more than 20,000 have entered to run on Sunday, the Up Run is a lot tougher than the Down Run, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, which was run in 2023 and 2022.

“Runners tend to find the Up Run tough and more tiring,” Comrades Marathon Association’s (CMA) race doctor, Dr Jeremy Boulter said.

“However we generally don’t see a significant difference in terms of the number of patients requiring medical assistance compared with Down Run years.

“Weather conditions tend to be a greater factor, and this year, we are hopeful of mild conditions as the runners head up to the Midlands.”

Comrades Marathon

Tete Dijana wins the 2023 Comrades Marathon in Durban. 11 June 2023 (Photo: Darren Stewart / Gallo Images)

More prize money

Whoever crosses the finish line first will see a boost to their pockets as the prize money for this year’s Comrades prize money purse has increased drastically.

In addition to the R50,000 Hot Spot prize available to the first man and woman that make it through the Cell C Hot Spot located in Cato Ridge; this year’s prize purse has been increased by a staggering R1,364,000 to a total of R4,092,000.

The men’s and women’s purses for the respective top 10 finishers are the same with the first-placed finisher receiving R825,000 in total from the Comrades and its sponsors. The 10th racer to cross the line in Durban will receive R33,000.

Refreshments

Athletes will be well fed across the near 90km trek with the Marathon’s organisers providing 48 well-stocked and strategically positioned refreshment stations along this year’s Up Run route, to provide for runners’ hydration and sustenance.

The refreshment stations are staffed by nearly 5,000 volunteers from sponsoring companies and service organisations, many of which have been providing this service for more than a decade.

Along the 85.91km route from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, the 48 refreshment stations will stock the following:

  • Coke: ​30,350 litres
  • Fanta / Crème Soda: ​10,650 litres
  • Coke paper cups (175ml): ​450,000
  • Thirsti water sachets: ​2.2 million
  • Thirsti sports drink sachets: ​600,000
  • Asemzansi Amahewu: ​45,000
  • Bavaria 0.0% beer: 10,000 x 150ml cans
  • Cooked baby potatoes: ​2 tons
  • Bananas: 600 boxes
  • Oranges: ​4.5 tons
  • Energy biscuits: 500 kg
  • Salticrax: 500 kg.

Runners will assemble on the start line at 5:30 am on Sunday, 9 June. DM

Gallery

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