Watch: Dutchman clinches Comrades Marathon title



Published Jun 9, 2024


It was a spectacular finish to the 85.91km 2024 Comrades Marathon up-run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban for Dutchman Piet Wiersma, who finished in 5:25:00 at the Hollywoodbets Scottsville Racecourse on Sunday.

Wiersma, who is a member of the Nedbank running club international (Netherlands), was disappointed last year after taking second place, with a time of 5:14:01, just three seconds behind Tete Dijana in a sprint to the finish.

Mens top 10 finishers at the Comrades Marathon.

This year, Wiersma finished strong by breaking away from a group of five reaching Polly Shorts first.

According to television commentators, in the history of the Comrades, no man who has made it first to Polly Shorts has lost the ultramarathon race.

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) said that in his preparation for this year’s comrades, Wiersma specifically focused on added hill training.

SA Nedbank runner Dan Matshailwe took second place with a time of 5:25:45.

Matshailwe, who is also part of the Dijana Nedbank training group, managed to catch up with the race leaders and broke away for a strong finish.

Comrades Marathon winner Piet Wiersma. Picture: Karen Singh

Ethiopia’s Degefa Lafebo came third with a time of 5:27:48.

In a post-race interview, Dijana, who placed 14th with a time of 5:42:50, said he was not sure what happened.

“I was getting dizzy, I don’t know what was going on,” he said.

In the women’s race, South Africa’s Gerda Steyn, of the Phantane Athletics Club, who smashed the 34-year-old record set by Frith van der Merwe of 05:54:43 in 1989 by 10 minutes when she crossed the finish line in 05:44:54 last year, took first place in a time of 5:49:46.

Top 10 finishers in the women’s category at the Comrades Marathon.

Speaking after crossing the finish line, the third-time Comrades winner thanked everyone who played a part, supported and helped her to get the win.

“I am speechless once again today, it is the best day of my life, it was just a blessing to be here.

“For South Africa, I was carrying the thought of everyone watching and the race today in my heart from the start to finish, it carried me, so thank you everybody,” said Steyn.

Steyn smiled and waved to supporters throughout the race and shook hands with people in the stands in the last stretch.

Alexandra Morozova took second place with a time of 6:05:12 and Courtney Olsen came third with a time of 6:08:09.

The Mercury