Comrades enlists medical staff for up-race


Medical staff are ready to assist the thousands of Comrades marathon athletes who sign up for the killer race on Sunday over the 85.91 km route.

More than 160 health professionals will offer assistance to the participants at eight points. This includes 92 paramedics, 76 nurses, 30 emergency vehicles as well as ambulance and helicopter services.

This year’s up race starts on Sunday at 05:30 at the Durban City Hall.

Although many athletes consider the up race more challenging, the number of participants who require medical treatment is no more than in the down races. The up and down runs vary from year to year.

Weather conditions play a significant role, but a sunny day is expected in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.

The Comrades Marathon medical team, including Netcare 911 and Netcare, are fully prepared to assist participants; whether someone’s life is in danger or for a minor muscle injury.

The company, which has been involved in the Comrades since 1977, is now also supported by a watch unit.

“The number of healthcare professionals from different organizations nationwide working together in one of the most complex medical scenarios echoes the spirit of unity and camaraderie among runners for which this historic ultramarathon is so famous,” said Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s General Manager of Emergency, Trauma -, transplant services and corporate social investment.

“We consider it a privilege to work with the Comrades management team to provide medical care to the runners. Our passion for the event is reflected in the fact that many of the same Netcare team members who were involved from the beginning still play a key role,” she says.

Participants attending the emergency department of the Netcare St. Anne Hospital will also be registered on an electronic medical record system, making it possible to make the patient record immediately available for optimal care in all facilities.

Shalen Ramduth, Netcare 911’s operations manager, says participants who need medical assistance can approach Netcare911 medics or race officials.

“For more peace of mind, runners are advised to download the Netcare app, which includes a Netcare 911 emergency call and geographic location, as well as a 60 second call line.

“On behalf of Netcare and Netcare 911, we wish all runners all the best for a safe and fulfilling race, and we will be there every step of the way to provide emergency medical care,” said Ramduth.

  • The 97th version of the Comrades marathon – and the 49th race – starts on Sunday at 05:30 at the Durban City Hall and ends 12 hours later at the Scottsville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg.