Pietermaritzburg – South African marathon record holder Gert Thys moved into the lead moments after the halfway mark of the 2014 Comrades Marathon overtaking a tiring Charles Soza as they climbed Drummond Hill on Sunday.

Zimbabwean Soza came through halfway of 44.64km in a time of two hours, 36 minutes and 29 seconds (2:36.29), with Thys 20 seconds adrift in 2:36.49.

However, the tough climb and fast time took a toll on Soza allowing Thys to overhaul him.

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, Charne Bosman at Cato Ridge. – Sapa