Comrades: Coke, water sachets and oranges in abundance available


Comrades participants will be toiling, sweating and maybe sweating a little when they tackle the 85.91 km route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg on June 9, but they will certainly not be thirsty.

Organizers of the popular ultramarathon have announced the refreshment statistics for this year’s race and almost 5,000 volunteers will man the 48 refreshment stations.

And fear not – they have more stock than a large chain store in the run up to Black Friday.

More than 40,000 liters of fizzy drinks (Coke, Fanta and Crème Soda) will be available along the way in 450,000 paper cups, while 2.2 million Thirsti water bags will also quench participants’ thirst.

Dwindling energy levels can also be boosted with oranges (4.5 tonnes), small potatoes (2.2 tonnes) and bananas (600 boxes).

For the connoisseurs, Bavaria’s 0.0% beer (22,000 cans) and asemZansi Amahewu (45,000 cans) are available. Not to mention the biscuits (500 kg) and Salticrax (500 kg).

The Comrades is an annual highlight on the South African sports calendar and organizers have promised that this year’s uphill race could be one of the most exciting versions of the popular ultramarathon.

According to Ann Ashworth – race manager – the prize money for the top ten participants will also increase by 10%.

The winners in the men’s and women’s categories can pocket R550 000 each; the amount will of course be doubled if they beat the existing record for the up race.

Gerda Steyn, South Africa’s golden long-breather who in 2019 became the first female athlete to complete the uphill race in under six hours, believes that the Comrades are one of a kind.

“This is the oldest and most prestigious road ultramarathon and to complete the race is an experience that one cannot simply describe. The thousands of runners who brave the road together every year are a unique experience and a jewel of our country!” she told RNews at the time.

She added that the uphill race is her favorite route.

“However, the fact remains that both versions of the Comrades are bumpy and the battle is between yourself and the distance, regardless of the direction in which you have to run. However, you can train beforehand and plan however you want, but 70% of the Comrades you run in your head.”