Remembrance Day Marathon

Posted by martin.parnell |

Today, a group of runners from the Cochrane Red Rock Running and Tri Club ran the 1st annual "Remembrance Day" marathon. The route was on the newly certified Cochrane Foothills Marathon course. The run started at 8.00am and a minute's silence was observed at 11.00am. The group finished the marathon in 5hrs 4 minutes and 24sec.

Running this marathon reminded us of another race, the Comrades marathon. It was the idea of World War I veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during that war. Clapham, who had endured a 2,700km route march through sweltering German East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants. The constitution of the race states that one of its primary aims is to "celebrate mankind's spirit over adversity".

The Comrades was run for the first time on 24 May 1921 and with the exception of a break during World War II it has been run every year since. The 2009 event was the 84th race. To date, over 300 000 runners have completed the race.

The Comrades Marathon is the world's oldest and largest ultramarathon. Run over a distance of approximately 90 km (55.9 mi) , the direction of the race alternates each year between the up run starting from Durban and the down run starting from Pietermaritzburg.

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