Stephen Muzhingi has won the Comrades Marathon for the second time, he overtook Claude Moshiywa and kept his four minute lead from about 20km from the finish line.
The world’s greatest ultra-marathon, 90 kilometres long, the Comrades is a South African institution, internationally recognised for the body-sapping challenge it poses and the camaraderie it fosters among its thousands of participants.
The Comrades is run between the capital of the Kwazulu-Natal province, Pietermaritzburg and the coastal city of Durban, the race alternates annually between the “up run” from Durban and the “down run” from Pietermaritzburg.
Last year, Stephen Muzhingi became the first Zimbabwean winner of the Comrades Marathon in 2009 in the second fastest time ever recorded: five hours, 23 minutes and 27 seconds. Shvetsov, going for his third win in succession, was struck by cramps nine kilometres from the finish and had to settle for second.
His real breakthrough came in 2007 when Stephen placed seventh in the Comrades and ever since then he has been focusing on improving his times. In 2009 before his comrades win, he came fourth in the Two Oceans Marathon with a time of three hours eleven minutes. The Durban based Zimbabwean, said that in 2009 he would be sending a portion of his prize money home to his family in Zimbabwe.
Vic Clapham, a First World War veteran came up with the idea for the Comrades as he wanted a living memorial to those South African soldiers killed in the war. Clapham, who had endured a 2 700-kilometre route march through sweltering German East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants.