National Commissioner Arthur Fraser has congratulated DCS officials who participated in the 2019 Comrades Marathon, saying that this alone speaks volumes of the high calibre of disciplined staff in this department that we can all be proud of.
An imposing throng of over 21 000 athletes clad in their running paraphernalia lined up at the start of the 94th instalment of the world acclaimed Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 09 June 2019. Altogether, 315 DCS runners qualified to take part in this year’s 86.83 kilometres ultra-marathon race. The challenge to surmount the treacherous hills and glide through the sliding slopes connecting Durban and Pietermaritzburg is enough to intimidate most people, but not the 21 625 gritty men (17 268) and women (4 357) who set off on a mission to conquer the ultimate human race.
Multitudes gathered in KwaZulu-Natal to witness the triumph of human spirit over adversity. At the crack of dawn on race day, experienced runners and novices lined up with eagerness to hear the sound of gun fire to signal the start of what would be a gruelling test of endurance. A total of 6 166 were running the comrades for the first time. The athletes hit the track with different goals in mind: for the top runners, the mission was to annihilate the competition and scoop the winner’s medal, whereas others only aimed at improving on their previous finishing times. Most first time runners merely aimed to cross the finish line.
A large group of DCS long distance runners dug deep to beat their exertions, and stayed the course until the finish line. Siyabonga Nyawo from Durban Management Area was the first DCS runner to cross the finish line in 7 hours 24 minutes, and scooped a silver medal. He said that he was pleased to be DCS top runner and aims to go one better next year by improving his finishing time. Cosmos Langa, also from Durban, was running his 28th Comrades and finished in 9 hours six minutes, to bag the ‘Robert Mtshali’ medal.
Not to be outdone, Ziphindile Dlamini from Bethal Management Area topped the time sheets, in the women segment, crossing the finish line in 09 hours 49 minutes, and won the ‘Robert Mtshali’ medal. She said she was satisfied with her run, considering that she only started to prepare for the race in January this year. Paulina Masi Sibiya from Modderbee Management Area came second in 10 hours 32 minutes, and bagged a bronze medal. Sibiya was running her 10th Comrades, and attributed this remarkable feat to self-discipline, preparation and her passion for the sport. She joins an exclusive group of 84 women (Green Number holders) who ran their 10th Comrades this year. She was followed in third place by Vuyelwa Theodorah Roji from Leeuwkop Management Area, who also notched up a bronze medal.
Of the 315 DCS entries, 208 stayed the course to the finish line. See table below for the DCS top five male and female runners in the 2019 Comrades Marathon.
Click here to see a list of DCS runners who qualified for the 2019 Comrades Marathon