The 100km world record holder, Takahiro Sunada from Japan, has joined the Mr Price World Team to compete in the Comrades Marathon in June.
"I have had my eye on him for a few years now. It has taken a trip to Japan and lots and lots of correspondence to contract Sunada," said the team co-ordinator Ray de Vries.
"Sunada's coach uses ultra marathons to improve standard marathon times, which is completely different to any other running philosophy that we have ever encountered. We had to persuade Sunada's coach that Comrades would be the right ultra for him.
"The Japanese are great ultra runners - it is surprising that we haven't been exposed to them yet. The two great Japanese ultra marathons are Lake Saroma 100km, which is held in Hokkaido, and the River Shimanto 100km in Nakamura City - both hot and humid places, which bodes well for Comrades preparation," said De Vries. Sunada's world best time of 6:13:33 for the 100km (also his first 100km) was set on June 21, 1998, beating the previous world best time which was Jean Paul Praet's 6:16:41.