As part of the celebrations, amongst other things, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) applied to the Guinness World Records to set a new record for the “Most Runners in an Ultra-Marathon.” The premium race has long been hailed as the world’s greatest ultra-marathon, and this year’s running of the race proved to be just that, by the ultimate authority on record breaking achievements, namely the Guinness World Records.
‘A world record is more than just a simple fact. It is a means of understanding your position on the planet - a yardstick for measuring how you and those around you fit in,’ according to the Guinness World Records, which today enjoys its status as a worldwide phenomenon.
Meeting the stringent requirements of The Guinness World Records was no walk in the park, as the CMA’s Marketing Coordinator, Thami Vilakazi explains: ‘Applying for the record attempt was quite a process, and organising and collecting all the necessary evidence was an event in itself.’
Ultimately, more than 14,000 Comrades enthusiasts managed to reach the finish line within the cut-off time and it was this record-breaking statistic that catapulted The Ultimate Human Race onto the internationally acclaimed record books and to be officially recognised as the world’s greatest ultra-marathon.
Thami adds: ‘We as the CMA were honoured to have the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business’ Andrew Layman and The Witness Newspaper’s Dave Erasmus on hand to independently corroborate the record-breaking number of Comrades 2010 finishers by submitting witness statements.’
He concludes: ‘Achieving this feat was a wonderful and befitting way to celebrate the 85th anniversary of The Ultimate Human Race. The CMA would like to thank all the runners who took part and embraced the camaraderie of the race as they played a major role in this achievement.’
For his part, Andrew Layman says: ‘It’s wonderful that the Guinness World Records has recognised the Comrades Marathon as a record-breaker. We have long been of the belief that The Ultimate Human Race was a feat in itself. It’s good to have that confirmed by such an authoritative body.’
Commenting on the Guinness achievement, Dave Erasmus says: ‘It is very special that ‘The City of Choice’ that is Pietermaritzburg, can once again host a Guinness World Record. It is extremely rewarding and is a definite ‘thumbs-up’ to all those who make the Comrades not just possible, but successful, year in and year out.’