The 86th running of the Comrades Marathon was an “up” run this year, from Durban to Pietermaritzburg covering a grueling 89km. I was fortunate enough to be shooting lead ladies bike together with a great team, including Craig Dutton, Al Nicoll and Greg Ewing. It was a long day but very inspirational (no, I’m not going to run comrades…) and rewarding. The ladies race which I covered was once again dominated by the Nugalieva twins, Elena and Olesya, who completed another one-two giving Elena her sixth win! Kami Semick, from the USA, came in third with Ellie Greenwood (UK) in fourth place. In fifth was Farwa Mentoor, who was the first South African lady home.
A big thank you must go to Eben who Chauffeured me along the route and had to stop more times than I guess he would have liked. Shooting from the back of a bike while dodging runners, spectators and potholes was challenging but a lot of fun. Once the ladies finish and the prize giving was covered, it was time to download images, grab a bite to eat and then head back out to capture the bulk of the field who spent a LOT more time out on the road. After that was the dreaded cut-off. The disappointment on the faces of those narrowly missing the 12-hour cut off is palpable. If I thought I had a long rough day, I don’t think it comes close to what those guys and girls were going through.
I look forward to an opportunity to cover the event again next year. Craig, Al & Greg, it was great working with you guys. Thanks
The race is as much about the winners as it is about the drama that unfolds behind them, so here are a couple of images from that part of the race