muzhingi5h23

Words of a Comrades Winner

Is it Possible to Run a 5H10 Comrades?????

I was asked the other day, if I though it was possible to run a 5H10 Comrades Marathon? This got me thinking and I am sitting on the fence here. (I do think from time to time, despite what some of my friends may say, or tell you). 89km in 5H10! hmmmmmmm

Well if i said it wasn’t possible then I would probably be lying as anything is possible if you have the right frame of mind and the right training, you can do anything. If we take into consideration that to run a 5H20 which is the current Down Run record, which is held by Leonid Shvetsov, the man was in prime physical condition and the weather conditions on the day were almost perfect.

One had to run at a pace of in the region of 3 minutes 40 per kilometre. Which is a tough ask over that distance. But it was done, and not many at the time thought it was possible to run a 5H20. That was in 2007 and I came in 3rd.

If we look at the times of winners over the years, 85 of them to be precise these have come down from 8H59 (the first race 1921 Bill Rowen) to the 5H20 mark in 2007. The first time the 6H00 mark was broken was in 1975 by Derek Preiss, 5H53.49, and in the last 34 years the average winning time has only come down by 25 to 30 minutes. If we take this into account it would probably take another 20 odd years to get to the 5H10 mark. Yes these days we have supplements and energy boosters etc to assist us, but back in the 80`s there weren’t all these funny gels etc, so what makes the accomplishment of Bruce Fordyce so good, is that he was running consistently in the late 5H20 and early 5H30 bracket, with water and coke!

To run a 5H10 one would have to run on average 3 minutes 18 per kilometre over 89km, which is pretty much at almost full pace for the elite athletes, and not even on the radar for the average runner. So almost near impossible.

But, ahhh yes there is a but! And I am probably going to get beat up for this by the serious analysers of Comrades, I do think that within the next couple of years the 5H18 mark will be broken which will see a whole new ball game come into play going forward. Athletes train harder each year and this pushes everyone else to do so. In times gone by one would start training 6 months in advance but now days training starts almost 8 months in advance.
Is the key then to start training 11 months in advance, without running the year before?
In my humble opinion I think it is not possible in my lifetime to see the 5H10 mark achieved but I do think that the 5H15 mark will be achieved within the next 10 years!

I have included below a table of winning times, which was supplied from the Comrades Marathon Association, museum curator, Sian Theron. It just makes for interesting reading.

3 and a half weeks to the big day!

Cheers

Stephen

Year Race No. Name Up/Down Record Time
2010 55925 Stephen Muzhingi D 5:29:01
2009 55925 Stephen Muzhingi D 5:23:27
2008 49670 Leonid Shvetsov U R 5:24:47
2007 49670 Leonid Shvetsov D R 5:20:49
2006 49673 Oleg Kharitinov U 5:35:19
2005 51570 Sipho Ngomane D 5:27:10
2004 39358 Vladimir Kotov U 5:31:22
2003 14084 Fusi Nhlapo D 5:28:52
2002 39358 Vladimir Kotov U 5:30:59
2001 35782 Andrew Kelehe D 5:25:51
2000 39358 Vladimir Kotov U R 5:25:33
1999 4889 Jaroslaw Janicki D 5:30:10
1998 4673 Dmitri Grishine U R 5:26:25
1997 1741 Charl Mattheus D 5:28:37
1996 4673 Dmitri Grishine U 5:29:33
1995 6845 Shaun Meiklejohn D 5:34:02
1994 5802 Alberto Salazar U 5:38:39
1993 1907 Charly Doll D 5:39:41
1992 7532 Jetman Msutu U 5:46:11
1991 13617 Nick Bester D 5:40:53
1990 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:40:25
1989 6051 Samuel Tshabalala D 5:35:51
1988 2403 Bruce Fordyce U R 5:27:42
1987 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:37:01
1986 2403 Bruce Fordyce D R 5:24:07
1985 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:37:01
1984 2403 Bruce Fordyce D R 5:27:18
1983 2403 Bruce Fordyce U R 5:30:12
1982 2403 Bruce Fordyce D 5:34:22
1981 2403 Bruce Fordyce U 5:37:28
1980 1704 Alan Robb D 5:38:25
1979 1834 Piet Vorster U R 5:45:02
1978 1704 Alan Robb D R 5:29:14
1977 1704 Alan Robb U R 5:47:09
1976 1704 Alan Robb D 5:40:43
1975 417 Derek Preiss U 5:53:50
1974 417 Derek Preiss U 6:02:49
1973 475 Dave Levick D R 5:39:09
1972 307 Mick Orton U R 5:48:57
1971 303 Dave Bagshaw D 5:47:06
1970 303 Dave Bagshaw U R 5:51:27
1969 303 Dave Bagshaw D R 5:45:35
1968 9 Jackie Mekler U 6:01:11
1967 168 Manie Kuhn D 5:54:10
1966 62 Tommy Malone U 6:14:07
1965 300 Bernard Gomersall D R 5:51:09
1964 9 Jackie Mekler U 6:09:54
1963 9 Jackie Mekler D R 5:51:20
1962 300 John Smith U 5:57:05
1961 184 George Claassen D 6:07:07
1960 9 Jackie Mekler U R 5:56:32
1959 17 Trevor Allen D 6:28:11
1958 9 Jackie Mekler U 6:26:26
1957 19 Mercer Davies D 6:13:55
1956 5 Gerald Walsh U 6:33:35
1955 5 Gerald Walsh D 6:06:32
1954 2 Wally Hayward U R 6:12:55
1953 2 Wally Hayward D R 5:52:30
1952 17 Trevor Allen U 7:00:02
1951 2 Wally Hayward D R 6:14:08
1950 2 Wally Hayward U 6:46:25
1949 7 Reg Allison D 6:23:21
1948 15 William Savage U 7:13:52
1947 41 Hardy Ballington D 6:41
1946 44 Bill Cochrane U 7:02:40
1940 67 Allen Boyce U 6:39:23
1939 92 Johnny Coleman D R 6:22:05
1938 41 Hardy Ballington U R 6:32:26
1937 92 Johnny Coleman D R 6:23:11
1936 41 Hardy Ballington U R 6:46:14
1935 44 Bill Cochrane D 6:30:05
1934 41 Hardy Ballington U 7:09:03
1933 41 Hardy Ballington D 6:50:37
1932 15 William Savage U 7:41:58
1931 45 Phil Masterton-Smith D 7:16:30
1930 2 Wally Hayward U 7:27:26
1929 26 Darrell Dale D 7:52:01
1928 2 Frank Sutton U 7:49:07
1927 77 Arthur Newton D 6:40:56
1926 17 Harry Phillips U R 6:57:00
1925 77 Arthur Newton D R 6:24:00
1924 77 Arthur Newton U R 6:58:00
1923 77 Arthur Newton D R 6:56:00
1922 77 Arthur Newton U R 8:40:00
1921 23 Bill Rowan D R 8:59:00

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May 3, 2011 - Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Yes, Stephen, I agree, we will see the times come down and incentives should be placed on the record to ensure athletes go for records and not just wins.
    Will be interesting to know what Dr Ross Tucker believes a runner should possess to run 5:10.

    Comment by Armand | May 6, 2011 | Reply


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