My guest today is no stranger to long distances, having finished 190 races of marathon distance or longer and has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
As a South African citizen, Stuart Mann has a special place in his heart for the Comrades Marathon.
We will go a few easy miles as we discuss all things running in South Africa.
All Things Comrades
Comrades is the oldest ultra in the world and steeped in history.
It began as a way to honor fallen WWI soldiers.
The Comrades Marathon is deceiving as it actually covers about a 90k (about 56 miles) distance.
Each year the race course is reversed, but one thing that never changes is the challenging course.
Comrades is the largest race in South Africa with about 23,000 entrants.
Stuart recently finished his 9th Comrades and will get his “green” number next year once he completes race number 10.
Obtaining a green number signifies that he will be able to keep his number for life and also get bragging rights.
In order to qualify for the race, one must have run a marathon in under 5 hours.
The average marathoner can finish the race, but it will likely be the toughest race of his/her life.
This Episode Sponsored By: DKMS
South African Running Culture
South Africa has no lack of running clubs and races.
There are over 200 marathons to choose from over the course of the year.
Four of the biggest ultras, participation-wise, are in South Africa.
Most of the smaller races are quite affordable, making travel to the country the most expensive part.
The races themselves offer some differences from what a runner from another country may be used to.
Coca-Cola is commonly offered alongside water at aid stations.
Very rarely are sport drinks or other fuels offered.
Medals are not nearly as flashy and look reserved in comparison to races in other countries.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- The Comrades Marathon
- Marakele Marathon
- The Big Five Marathon
- Two Oceans Marathon
- Rome Marathon
- Tokyo Marathon
If you want to connect with Stuart and follow along on his adventures or get recommendations on all things South Africa and running check out his website and/or follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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