Cape Town - It's that time of year again. Running enthusiasts from across South Africa and the globe will be descending upon KwaZulu-Natal once more this weekend for the legendary Comrades Marathon.
Set to take place on Sunday, 31 May, this year's race is an 'up' run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg and follows a route that is ever so slightly longer than previous years. The route is alternated annually, with the reverse run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban referred to as the down run.
In preparation for the big day, we've collected some of the most interesting facts about the world class race by numbers. Take a look:
23 000 – entry cap, there are currently 22 371 entries for 2015 and 19 000 participants expected
1921 – year it began
5 - percentage increase of international participants compared to last year
90 – number of Comrades marathons that have been run
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87,72 – distance in km of this year's race, making it one of the longest in recent history
9 – amount of times Bruce Fordyce won the marathon, 8 of these were consecutive. He still holds the record for the person who has won the most Comrades Marathons
5 – the number of hills runners have to conquer during the up run. They are: Cowies Hill, Field's Hill, Botha's Hill, Inchanga, and Polly Shortts
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12 – hours is the cut off time for runners
34 – the number of people who entered the first ever Comrades, only 16 finished
450 - number of jobs sustained by the race
8 – number of deaths in the race to date
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20 – the minimum age to enter
5:20:59 - shortest amount of time the race was finished in - comppleted by Leonid Shvetsov
90 000 - the overall number of Comrades-related visitors Durban is expecting this weekend (including participants/families/friends/spectators/organisers/locals)
3 - average nights spent in the city by Comrades-related visitors
200 million - estimated direct spend in Rands for the City of Durban during this weekend
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- An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated there had only been 7 deaths up until 2007