Comrades – The World’s Oldest and Largest Ultra Marathon


Comrades – The World’s Oldest and Largest Ultra Marathon
The Comrades is the oldest, toughest and largest ultra-marathon in the world. This race that started in 1921 with 34 runners has now become the largest ultra-marathon. This 94-year-old race is held every year in South Africa and it alternates between an “Up” run that goes from Durban to Petermaritzburg and the “Down” run that goes the other way. The race distance is around 90 Km passing through “Five Big Hills” and countless smaller hills in “Valley of Thousand Hills”. More than 20,000 runners participate every year who come from South Africa and all around the world.
This year close to 200 runners are participating from India. This makes it largest contingent of International runners outside of USA, UK and Brazil. In India, Striders is the largest club training aspirant runners looking to complete this prestigious and challenging race.
Runners undergo strict training regime and cover more than 1000 kilometers during the 4-month intense training programme.
“The training period is a journey which gives you an insight to your inner self, builds your character, toughens you mentally to take on life more positively” says Prashant Mody, who works with Financial Conglomerate.
“I went from a couch potato to running my third Comrades Marathon this year in a matter of 4 years and feel that participating in Comrades requires passion, hard work, discipline and most importantly family support. But Comrades completely changes you as an individual and you believe you can achieve anything in life once you cross that finish line” says Prasad Kulkarni, a partner with a Big Four consulting firm.
Kashyap Mody, a Senior Vice President at India’s largest private sector conglomerate says “This being my 5th consecutive Comrades I am often asked – Why again? How many more Comrades? And when I step back to ponder over this question it is the camaraderie of training with my fellow runners, the discipline and grit to prepare for the race and the sheer joy of finishing the race with India’s flag makes me want more. No other race can give you the adrenalin rush that you experience post finishing Comrades.



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