The world’s biggest and oldest ultra-marathon saw South African runners claiming the winning positions yesterday. Gift Kelehe (Samancor Running Club) and Caroline Wostmann (Nedbank Running Club) were crowned the male and female champions of the 2015 Comrades Marathon.
Though, the event was spectacular as always, there are points of historic significance which might get forgotten if we don’t put them down for all to remember:
- The race was dubbed the 90th edition of the race. Depending on which history you choose to read, the race may very well be even as old as 95 years. But since we said 90th edition, let’s go with that.
- When Caroline Wostmann crossed the line, to win the race, she became the first South African Woman to win the race in this millennium. The last time a South African woman won the race was 17 years ago when Rae Bisschoff won the up run at 6:38:57
- When Gift Kelehe crossed the finish line, he made history by being the one half of two brothers to ever with this race. His brother Andrew won the 2001 race on a down run. The Nurgalieva twin sisters who dominated the race between 2003 and 2013 certainly hold the record for most wins by siblings in the race’s 90 year history.
- When Gift Kelehe and Caroline Wostmann were crowned the male and female champions of the 2015 Comrades Marathon; it was the first time since foreign internationals were allowed to participate in 1993 that we have had two South African’s take the podium in both the men and woman’s race in the same year – as champions.
- Lastly, this year the up run route was 1 kilometre longer than normal due to road works. Therefore Caroline Wostmann who finished the race in 6:12:22. Had the route been normal, Caroline Wostmann would have finished the race in +/- 6:08, thus breaking the 6:09:23 record set by Elena Nurgalieva back in 2006. – considering that there is a R1,5 Million price money for breaking the record, I wonder if she cares.