South African David Gatebe won the men’s Comrades Marathon in a record time of 5:18:19 in the 89km ultra-race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban yesterday.
Russian Leonid Shvetsov in 2007 set the “down” run record of 5:20:49, and the previously unheralded Gatebe in Comrades circles, put in a truly historic performance to shatter that mark by over two minutes.
In second place, fellow South African and 2012 Comrades champion Ludwick Mamabolo crossed the line in 5:24:05. Taking third was another SA runner Bongmusa Mthembu in 5:26:39.
Gatebe, the 2013 Two Oceans champion, had not made it into the top 20 in his three previous attempts.
The 34-year-old, however, does have a 2:14 marathon time behind his name and showed off his speed in the latter stages of the race to power to victory.
Meanwhile, South Africa also had a one-two in the ladies event, with Charne Bosman winning in a time of 6:25:55, and Caroline Wostmann (6:30:44) in second.