2013 Comrades Marathon Highlights

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2013 will be remembered as one of the toughest Comrades Marathons. The searing heat and strong winds saw many runners struggling their way from Durban to ‘Maritzburg.

Here are 7 of our (many) memorable Comrades 2013 moments:

  • South African Claude Moshiywa won the 2013 Comrades, in a time of 05:32:09. He crossed the finish line a comfortable 9 minutes ahead of second placed Jonas Buud (Sweden).
  • Russian twin Elena Nurgalieva won her 8th Comrades Marathon. She is now just one win away from equaling Bruce Fordyce’s 9-win record.
  • Defending champion Ludwick Mamabolo finished in 4th place, after spending the last year fighting doping allegations from the 2012 race.
  • Charne Bosman was the first South African women across the line, in 5th place. She was just pipped at the finish line by Scottish runner, Joasia Zakrzewski.
  • Alan Robb ran his 40th consecutive Comrades Marathon. An  inspiration to us all!
  • 14 336 out of 19 907 entrants started the race. Only 10 188 finished.
  • Around 7000 runners poured over the finish line in the last 90 minutes.

Congratulations to every runner who tackled the 2013 Comrades Marathon!

What will you remember about the 2013 event?

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32 Responses to 2013 Comrades Marathon Highlights

  1. Walter June 3, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    Thank you Comrades association for once again organizing a world class event , I love it and can’t wait for 2014

    • Lindi Galaun June 5, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Being a novice for the 2013 Comrades, I was met with one of the biggest challenges of my life. The comaraderie was beyond anything that can be described. I am both honoured and humbled by the experience. Thank you for the memories and the experience.

    • MPHO May 27, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      this year is going to be tough because Lidwick Mamabolo is back and extremely angry

  2. Karen June 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    the SABC TV covereage was fantastic. however, please get people who actually run to commentate and do interviews. How can you ask the 2nd place winner if he ‘improved his time”? Really ?! Who cares about the twins baby ?! … not a good image for SA … Bruce Fordyce and the rest of the comentary team, hats off to you – fantastic job.

    Will watch again next year, unless i get the courage to run it ….

    • Lynne June 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      The commentary was generally great, but who ever that was at the end was really embarrasing to say the least. Please, please get someone next time who firstly can speak english properly- like the interviewer at the top of Pollys and secondly who has run the race before and knows what they are talking about.

    • Roger June 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      some of the interviews were nothing short of embarrasing!i was squirming in my seat !!i’ve just had foot op so was not there , see you in 2014. well done to all the organisers and runners

  3. Coral June 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Claude Moshiywa you are an absolute inspiration!
    Congratulations… you made me cry when you crossed the finish line

  4. Mlu June 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    It was my first Comrades Marathon but it worth every moment of it. I finished the race but I take my hat off Polly Shots. I walked past high seeded runners who had either collapsed or given up at the hill or immediately after the incline.

    Thanks to Comrades for a wonderful event!

  5. BARBARA June 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    As a novice comrades runner I really have nothing to compare my first comrades to, yes it was hot, yes the wind klapped most of us and many got very sick as the road ahead seemed endless, but in the end the Comrades showed us that it not a race for the faint hearted or ill-prepared. It is known as one of the most gruelling ultra marathons in the world.

    The Spectators must just have a little more regard for runners. We all have family and friends on the side-lines who we wish to see and who wishes to see us, shout encouragements too and hand over life-saving goodies, but give us some space to run in, don’t close us in.
    Many a runner got tripped over in the process, not intentionally but accidently, and for more than one it meant the end of the Comrades as they had be seen to medically and some carted off to hospital. The Marshall’s must be far “stricter” with spectators on the road as to keep them beyond the line.

    The preparations must be a nightmare and the smallest detail has to seen too and anticipated, so I would also just like to say Thank You to the Organising Committee for a great 2013 Race.

  6. Marinda Smit 56646 June 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    What an awesome experience & race!!!!Weldone to ea & every one that finished the Ultimate human race! See u @ next years down run!

  7. Griffiths June 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    What an event, the atmosphere/ support – took us through the weather (hot & windy). Very proud of all the finishers & those attempted prepares for 2014. No pain No gain!!

  8. Zane June 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I agree with Karen… get commentators who are runners or at the very least value the experience enough to study a bit about Comrades, history, etc. There were errors far-too-many to mention from the “non-running” commentators. Absolutely a personal observation but Comrades coverage seems to have lost it’s comradeship over the years and the focus seems to be just the top runners. Congrats to everyone who qualified for Comrades and a special congrats to those who finished.

  9. Sal June 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    This was my fourth comrades and reading some of your comments is really touching. Yes this year was a very hard comrades but still worth it. I had a cold and a foot injury and I thought that I was not going to participate, I mean how can you have trained so hard and not even try. That was all I was trying to do was finish which I managed. Thank you… thank you to all the spectators and the support we got along the way if it was not for you all I don’t think some of us would have made it across the finish line. Thank you to the Comrades organisers and the volunteers’ for all their hard work. I cannot say that i will be back but who really knows …

  10. Pieter V June 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    A very big thank you to the Comrades Committee, organizers, sponsors and volunteers for making this event a huge success. The crowds and the supporters along the route were all amazing. Without you a lot more runners would not have finished. I always had this race on my bucket list and I eventually did it. What an amazing feeling. I will definitley be back next year. Running has changed my life forever.

  11. Vuvu Q June 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    It was my first time to run the Comrades marathon….i can vouch that it really is the Ultimate Human Race and it does define you. It was tough climbing those hills in that heat, but i must say i enjoyed the race…and i felt so happy finishing on time and getting my medal. Next year i’m back for my back to back medal…

  12. RIAAN June 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm #


  13. Thulani Msane June 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    This was an awesome event,thanks to the organisers although we didn’t receive AMAHEWU drink in time but everything was excellent keep it up Johan and the team.

  14. Thelma Theron June 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    It was my first comrades which I thoroughly enjoyed! Unfortunately for me, my chip did not work, so I am left with trying to sort out the logistics around that.My family and friends were worried sick until I saw them in Camperdown. Other than that, a great event and I will definitely be back next year. Thank you to Comrades SA, the spectators and of course all the runners that make this event so spectacular.

  15. Carol June 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    I Agree with Barbara. It was my first Comrades, and l didn’t finish – so we were further back. I found the lack of respect from spectators quite annoying in places when they stood in front of me on two separate occasions – first to ask me for my cap (No!) and secondly to ask if we had food. The second incident was at about 53-55km, and the 2 of us were fairly “alone” on the route – it did not make us, both female, feel safe.
    But I will be back next year – and better prepared: got to get that medal!

  16. llewy June 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I agree wrt the poor commentary by Norma! She had no command of the english language and persisted in interviewing one of the top runners in english even though he said he doesnt undertsand or speak it that well. Another absolute blunder was when she commented on a blind runner ” yes that runner is blind and if you are blind it means you cannot see” OMW!! As this is an international event, please at least employ journos who can speak english and have done some research on the race and can ask intelligent, insightful questions to the participants for us viewers at home to get a sense of what theyve experienced!

    Also focus more on the “back of the pack” runners toward the end stages of the race, esp at cutoff points and for the last 30 min of the race without cutting to inserts and commercials, or like what happened immediately after the last runner crossed the finish line at the 12 hr cutoff, SABC decided to show highlights of the winners!! GASP! Weve seen it already; we’re interested in the other drama thats happening at the finish line!

    • Nomhle June 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      So so true… the lady should not be brought back- even her comments in Xhosa were bad. We are just as interested in the runners coming after number as we are in number 1. I ask for more coverage of the runners at the back too

      All round- it was great watching the comrades marathon. Makes one proud to be South African


  17. michael June 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, I didn’t start the 2013 race although entered. I have completed 6 previous runs. This was my first as a tv spectator and I was very disappointed n the coverage. The commentators ( besides bruce, valyn and Helen ) know absolutely nothing about comrades, and don’t have enough handle on the English language to be able to commentate live and un-scripted.

    Also the producer actually needs a well researched runner to sit beside him and assist with camera positions and cuts between shots, ie: when the leaders approached the wall of honour and Arthur’s seat, the commentators were discussing it but the camera’s just wiz past oblivious to what they are talking about.

    Those were just two of many many historic and interesting points along route that us runners know all to well, but the public watching on tv don’t get a chance to see due to producers that are ill-informed or simply oblivious to the fact that Bruce was talking about the seat coming up on the right for a few minutes and then they cut to shots of the ladies leaders further back at the critical time.

    Also, after the 12 hour cut off , they cut to highlights which we have seen the whole day, what about the true winners who completed the race just short of the line in time ?

    I really enjoyed Bruce as a commentator as well as Helen and Vaylin. Congrats to you guys.
    The chap at the top of polly’s was also great.

    I’d like to see shots of the cut off’s along the way, surely it’s nothing to have a bike camm filming the back of the pack and capturing the cut off,s….more drama means better viewing which means more to the advertisers and tho the comrades viewing experience , surely.

    I recall years ago there were roving bike cams up and down the route filming us middle and back of the pack runners, I never once saw a shot from a bike cam other than the leaders, the real comrades are only captured by static camera’s.

    When the leaders get in , cant those bikes climb on the highway and double back to the end of the field and work their way through the runners capturing the essence of the masses ?

    I have run in Vlam’s bus for example and I think it’ll be great viewing to see what goes on in a bus from a bike camera, if I wasn’t a runner, I wouldn’t have a clue how big they are, what the vibe is like and how vocal, positive and encouraging the bus drivers are.

    Come on SABC, its not rocket science, i’ll gladly sit in your studio next year and give you the runners perspective, after all, the viewers want to see what the runners are experiencing.

    Congrats to all finishers and all starters, it was a hell of a tough run this year. You are all winners !

  18. MylesT June 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    This was also my very first Comrades and am so glad that I committed to all the training and taking part. The crowds and all of the support is absolutely brilliant and it makes this race so much bigger than any other event I’ve ever participated in of which there have been many.

    The conditions weren’t ideal but the supporters and helpers maning the water tables and stations all did a terrific job supporting us tired, sweaty runners. A BIG thanks to them!

    I would also like to thank the awesome gent who brought in the sub 10 hour bus that helped me through the last 18 km. He did a fantastic job guiding us in and helped me get in under my target.Nice one!

    Well done to all the finishers and especially the novices – you have proved to everyone that you’ve got what it takes.

  19. Andre June 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I returned after a 7 year spell of injuries to run my 8th Comrades. It almost ended in disaster but a lady at a Fourways runner club gazebo with 23km to go helped me and I managed to finish and get my medal. Sorry I did not get her name as I would have liked to thank her in person for helping me to fulfill part of my dream.From a Nedbank club runner.

  20. Solomon June 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    What great race indeed. I hope all comments and critics will help CMA to improve. From registration, malfunctioning systems, like and lines and track my runner and registration confirmations etc. Race coverage is a big problem, firstly its for the front runners only and secondly people just talking a lot of nonsensical thingz other broadcasting the race. If that can be addressed.

  21. Bafana June 6, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    What an experience! It was my 1st and did not finish, I got cut-off at 80km mark (top of Ponnyshots hill – 11h20min)…only 7km to go! I got there few seconds later, but nonetheless I enjoyed the race and I’m proud of my performance!

    Come next year I will definately get a medal for the down-run and then 2015 I will go back to that up-run full force and get my back-to-back medal.

    Job well done to the Organisers and all the participants who took part in this comrades.
    Special thanks to spectators who also supported us all the way!!!

    Bafana – Liberty

  22. M.B.MOLOTSI June 6, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Eish ja, what an awesome race. It was my first I really enjoyed myself and am derfinately coming bacc next year. To the organizing team what a job well done. To the participants you all are heroes, keep it up.

  23. Laura Coetzee June 8, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Thank you to all the organizers and spectators I had a great race. Will be back next year for my third medal. Also a big thanks to the runners the vibe is amazing.

  24. Jacqueline June 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Comrades 2013, so much can be said both negative and positive! Firstly thank you to the organisers cos without you guys there would not be a Marathon, hats off to you, you do great work! As for the crowds, you guys rock! I have run Comrades for the 7th time this year and I was in awe at the selflessness of the guys on the sidelines cheering us on. I had such help and support from complete strangers, it was absolutely awesome. Nothing gets these guys down, and the awesome thing is, they do not actually have to come out in support of anybody, but they do, which in itself is just amazing, it makes it worth it. Without them and especially at the end many a runner would give up. So i humbly extend my appreciation.
    I had the opportunity to run with the Unoqwqtcha guys, and I know I have spelt that incorrectly!! What a nyce interlude! in what was otherwise a never ending winding road of pain!!You guys Rock not only in what you are doing but also cos you are such fun, keep up what you are doing, not many people out there doing what you are! You kept me going!! As for the commentary, eish that is just a bird of a different kind! I agree wholeheartedly with the previous comments on this topic!! The SABC does not seem to learn from previous years! I remember before i started running Comrades and I used to watch it, hell it was painful to say the least! It has improved a bit not by much though!! If nothing else at least give the person that is going to interview people at the end a list of INTELLIGENT APPROPRIATE questions to ask! Eish!!!

  25. Karlien June 12, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    This was my first comrades and a very big dream that became true. It was hard but I did finish an expierence that I will not forget.
    To the organizing team what a job well done! It was great.

    Friend and familly that was wacthing also complaint about the coverage of SABC 2. They followed with the chip where I am and when I was suppose to go over the finish line they was busy with an interview. Al of them said if they just put the small block at the bottem they could have seen me finish and the time was not always on the screen. Super sport coverage of sport avents are more profesional they say. So SABC up your game.


  26. Shahied June 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    This was my 1st comrades, I had a great time, even though I got to the end after cutoff. Too many mistakes and overconfidence, next year I will be back, even though I for years said i will never do comrades, its bitten me.

    A big thank you to organisers and the hundreds of strangers/supporters along the route for the many cheers. Not having had any supporters of my own, it made my day.

  27. .Thelma Theron July 5, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Thank you CMA, for sorting out my chip! My results are now up on the website and had a big party to celebrate. I am truly grateful that you were able to give me my splits, I have something to work on now to better my results for 2014. See you next year for sure…

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