Things To Do in PietermaritzburgRun into the Comrades Museum
Where? 18 Connaught Rd, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal.
When? Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 13h00.
How? Call +27 (0)331-943 510
How much? Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.
An old restored Victorian house holds the history and memorabilia of an old race that is the ultimate human race. Comrades Marathon House serves as the headquarters for the Comrades Marathon and a museum to the history of the race and its victors.
The Comrades Marathon first run by 34 runners is now the most attended ultra-marathon in the world and South Africa's most popular road race which on its 75th anniversary in 2000 held the record breaking footsteps of over 23 000 marathon runners. Fellow runners unite as allies as opposed to competitors as they tackle the gruelling challenge of distance and gradient. The camaraderie of this approximately 90 km proudly South African marathon event is electric serving to unite all South Africans be they televised viewers, stadium spectators or race participants.
The average running field consists of 10 000 - 13 000 runners with international athletes and marathon runners welcome and having won on some occasions. The testing route is between the KwaZulu Natal inland capital of Pietermaritzburg and Durban's coast; alternating marathon directions annually with a predominantly uphill course commencing at Durban and the mostly downhill experience starting in Pietermaritzburg.
The Comrades museum has an accurate to scale (1:25000) model of the race route. The 'big five' hills on the up route challenge appear in the order of Cowies Hill, Fields Hill, Botha's Hill, Inchanga and Poly Shorts. The strenuous downhill distance also tackles some climbing faces including the hillsides of Inchanga, Alverstone, Cowies Hill and Botha's Hill. Historical museum photographs document the beginning of this global gathering initiated in 1921 by World War 1 veteran Vic Clapham as a tribute race to the South African soldiers who died in the Great War (1914-1918).
Champions include Bruce Fordyce (9 wins, 8 consecutive), Frith van der Merwe (female record breaker), Wally Hayward (multiple winner) and Arthur Newton (multiple winner). Legends and legacies are exhibited at the museum which has a collection of personal marathon mementoes donated by former competitors. Tribute is paid to the history and future of this phenomenal sporting event which is a national treasure.