Pietermaritzburg - Charles Soza leads the 89th edition of the Comrades Marathon at the halfway stage, with a slender 20 second advantage over Gert Thys at Drummond, in KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday.
Zimbabwean Soza came through in a time of two hours, 36 minutes and 29 seconds (2:36.29), but was quickly tiring as Thys, the South African marathon record-holder, closed the gap by following across the 44.64 kilometres point in 2:36.49.
Some of the 89.29km race favourites, including Stephen Muzhingi, Ludwick Mamabolo, Bongmusa Mthembu, Joseph Mphuti, Prodigal Khumalo and Butiki Jantjies, were all among a 15-man plus chasing group.
Local pair Anele Dlamini and Dewald Engels were among a three-man pace-setting group, alongside Elmore Sibanda, during the earlier stages of the world-famous ultra marathon, which is a 'down run' from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in 2014.
Russian twins Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva were around four minutes ahead of Briton Eleanor Greenwood and 10 clear of the top local lady, Charne Bosman at Cato Ridge. - Sapa