The route is slightly longer than usual, thanks to the new finishing venue being Moses Mabhida Stadium, a deviation from the Kingsmead Cricket Stadium, which has been the end of the race for 21 years.
The new finishing venue means a few hundred metres more for runners to endure from 89.208km in 2016 to 90.184km tomorrow. Those who know something about running will tell you 100m can make a big difference in a race like the Comrades.
All the runners have the same 12 hours within which to cross the finish line but each runner’s mental and physical fitness plus conditions on the day, will determine how far they go.
Those who have done the race several times advise not to fear but to respect it.
Chairman of the RCS Gugulethu Running Club, Aubrey Shoko, said runners should aim to reach the finish in good spirits. “People should just go out there and enjoy themselves and keep moving even during the difficult parts of the race.”
Shoko, a four-time Comrades finisher with a best time of 8 hours 57 minutes, said race day was about implementing what was done during training. He was confident his teammates would do well.
The club is sending 110 runners to the starting line with a number of them hoping for personal best finishing times.
Deputy chairperson of the K-Way VOB club, Conrad Greer, agreed with Shoko about enjoying the journey. “Our message to all club members is to go out on the day and to first of all enjoy themselves.”
His club has 105 runners who qualified for the Comrades. “We hope all runners achieve their personal goals they set for themselves, be it to finish or to run a specific time.”