This year marks the 86th year of theComrades Marathon, and has attracted19 617 runners.(Image: southafrica.net)MEDIA CONTACTS• Peter ProctorComrades Marathon Association+27 33 897 8650RELATED ARTICLES• Search on for top thrill-seekers• Epic run to put smiles on faces• Sport in South Africa• SA women conquers the Seven SummitsNosimilo RamelaThe 2011 Comrades Marathon taking place on 29 May promises to be the most competitive edition yet. For the first time in the history of the race, top Ethiopian runners have entered and are set to pose a great threat to defending champions. The race has also seen an increase in entrants from the UK, US, Australia and Brazil.Now in its 86th year, the 89km ultra marathon – dubbed the Ultimate Human Race – has attracted an overwhelming number of entries from all around the world, resulting in a field of 19 617 competitors. This year’s entrants are 78% male and 22% female.Chairperson of the Comrades Marathon Association Peter Proctor said this year’s success is a result of the country’s successful hosting of the first African Fifa World Cup.“After the excitement of the Fifa World Soccer Cup last year, the Comrades Marathon also celebrated a great year.”Proctor said it is exciting to see that the 2011 race has attracted so many entrants. “The Comrades Marathon’s ability to attract runners from all walks of life firmly attests to its domination of the South African road-running calendar.”This year’s race will be run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal’s two major cities. This is known as the “up run” as it has more climbs from the coast inland. As this route is more challenging, it’s 2km shorter than the 89km “down run” from Pietermaritzburg to Durban – the route followed every alternate year.This year’s runners will face five major hills along the way, popularly known as the “Big Five”. Cowies Hill is the first one, about 14km from the start. It is a moderately difficult climb, rising about 137m in the space of 1.5km.Fields Hill is the second one, about 22km from Durban, and rises 213m over a distance of 3km.Botha’s Hill follows with a gentler altitude rise of about 150m and covering a distance of 2.4km. At the top of this hill there is a human landmark well-known to all veteran Comrades runners. Every year since the marathon began, boys from local high school Kearsney College have gathered in numbers outside the school gates on the hilltop to cheer on and hand out refreshments to the tired runners.In the 7km stretch from the top of Botha’s Hill, there is a steep but sharp descent known as Alverstone.Shortly after that, runners encounter the Wall of Honour on the right hand side of the road, overlooking the Valley of 1 000 Hills. This wall was created as a permanent landmark to honour the achievements of runners who have completed the epic journey between the two cities.A few 100m past this is the halfway mark, which is immediately followed by the fourth “Big Five” hill, Inchanga. Here runners are confronted by a tough 2.5km hill that rises to 150m in altitude.At 870m, Umlaas Road is the highest point on the route and situated about 19km from Pietermaritzburg. This point is largely unnoticed by most runners, as it is not a recognisable hill. The only landmark here is a concrete water tower.The ultimate hill is next, Polly Shorts. It lies in wait 80km away from Durban and is often the make-or-break point for even the top contenders. The climb is 1.8km in length with the peak at an altitude of 737m.Founded by First World War veteran Vic Clapham, the Comrades Marathon is one of the greatest ultra marathons in the world. It is one of South Africa’s enchanting national treasures and attracts thousands of runners, spectators and television viewers every year.Runners of all talents and ages come together on the day in a gruelling display of mind and body strength.
South Africa has excellent road infrastructure, a selection of reputable vehicle hire companies, great weather and plenty of stunning scenery – which all combine to make self-driving a viable and enjoyable option. If you’re thinking of taking the long way round, here are a few tips.Self-driving is a good option when visiting South Africa. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission)Brand South Africa reporterWhen visiting South Africa, the self-driving option is a viable and enjoyable way to get around the country. South Africa has excellent road infrastructure, large vehicle hire fleets run by international and local rental companies, great weather and plenty of stunning scenery. If you’re thinking of taking the long way round, here are a few tips to enhance your trip.Car hireMost international and reputable local car rental companies (see the links on the right) are represented at South Africa’s main airports and in most city centres. Vehicles may generally be picked up at one branch and dropped off at another branch at your destination. Please be aware of the terms and conditions of car-hire in South Africa, relevant to the company you use.It is advisable to take out the insurance offered by the vehicle rental companies, unless you have specific travel insurance cover in place. All major credit cards are accepted.Driver’s licencesAny valid driver’s licence is accepted in South Africa, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed or authenticated in English.However, vehicle hire companies may also require an international driver’s licence. It is worth confirming requirements with your travel agent or the vehicle hire company when making your booking.This holds for additional drivers as well, who must be identified when you hire your vehicle. Remember to carry all your documentation with you when you travel, as traffic officers will expect to see it if they stop you for any reason.Keep left, buckle up and think in kilometres‘Keep left, pass right’ is the general rule of driving in South Africa. This also applies to highway (freeway) driving.Cars in South Africa are right-hand drive vehicles, with the gear shift operated with the left hand.Distances, speed limits (therefore vehicle speedometers) are measured in kilometres, and fuel gauges in litres, so be aware of this when travelling long distances to avoid running out of fuel.The wearing of seat belts is compulsory for all front seats and back seats (if present). Using mobile phones and devices while driving is against the law. While using an in- car hands-free system is permitted, use cautiously if you are travelling in an unfamiliar area.Speed limitThe general speed limit on South Africa’s national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h (75mph). On secondary (rural) roads it is 100km/h (60mph). In built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph), unless otherwise indicated by road signs. If you incur a speeding fine with a hired car, the rental company will pay the fine, passing on the charge to your account, with an admin fee.Drinking and drivingNaturally, drinking alcohol before and while driving is against the law. The South African Road Traffic Act 93/96 has been in effect since March 1998. Whether you are driving in the city or on rural roads, these laws are extremely important to obey. These laws are in place to help protect the community and to make sure that drunk drivers are reprimanded.The legal blood alcohol limit in South Africa is less than 0.05 g per 100 mlThe legal breath alcohol limit in South Africa is less than 0.24 mg in 1000 ml of breathAccording to the Automobile Association of South Africa the rule of thumb when considering the minimum allowable amount of alcohol consumed before driving is a maximum of one unit of alcohol per hour, which constitutes 10ml of pure alcohol, based on an adult weighing 68kg. Our bodies can process only one unit of alcohol each hour. However, it is important to be aware that if you weigh less than 68kg your body will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol. In simple terms, this means that 2 drinks over the space of one hour will put you over the limit. Below is a breakdown of alcohol units per drink type:1 x 75 ml glass of wine = 1 unit1 x 250 ml glass of wine = 3.3 units1 x shot/shooter = ½ unit in most instances1 x spirit cooler = about 1.25 units1 x beer = 1.5 units or possibly more1 x cider = 2 units1 x 25 ml tot of spirits = 1 unit1 x cocktail = Between 2 and 4 unitsAnything more would impede your driving ability. In general, it is advisable not to drink at all if you are planning on travelling long distances or in areas with which you may not be familiar.Fuelling upThe various types of petrol (gas) available in South Africa are: unleaded and lead replacement 97-, 95- or 93-octane (often referred to as “super” or “premium”). The 95- and 93-octane petrol is available at higher altitude (non-coastal, interior areas such as Gauteng and Mpumalanga), as well as 93-octane. While, at the coast, your choice is between 95- and 97-octane.Diesel is available with 0.05% sulphur content and 0.005% sulphur content.Most vehicles available from car-hire companies use unleaded petrol, and cars older than 10 years use the various octane types.Fuel is sold per litre (1 US gallon is equivalent to 3.8 litres).South African petrol stations are not self-help, with attendants to fill the car, check oil, water and tyre pressure, as well as offer to clean your windscreen, if required – these services more often than not enjoy a R2 or R5 gratuity, or according to your discretion.Fuel stations are called ‘garages’ in South Africa, and can be found on both the main and country roads in urban and rural areas. Most are open 24 hours a day, although some rural stations may keep shorter hours. Be aware that distances between towns (and therefore between petrol stations) are considerable in some parts of the country, so remember to check the fuel gauge before passing up the opportunity to fill up.Fuel can be paid for with cash or general credit and debit cards (MasterCard and Visa most often. NOT usually American Express or Diner’s Club.) Some smaller or more rural stations may always not accept cards. Check with the attendant before filling up on payment methods available. Most filling stations have on-site ATM banking facilities available.Driving around the countryOur road infrastructure is excellent, so driving between cities and towns is a viable option – and, given the stunning scenery in many parts of the country, a highly enjoyable one.However, South Africa is a huge country not easily traversed in a day, so plan your journeys carefully. If you’re not used to driving long distances, rather break the journey, as fatigue is a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents.While most national roads are tarred and in good condition, the more rural the road, the more likely it is to be pot-holed and poorly surfaced.Road informationCurrent information on the conditions of roads can be obtained through the Automobile Association of South Africa. The AA also provides invaluable guides for road users in the form of strip maps tailored for specific destinations and information for tourists on accommodation en route.Traffic signs are generally pictorial or in English.Toll roads and e-tollsBefore you set off, check your route. Many of the national roads between the major centres are toll roads. Check the fees before you leave, and make sure that you have either a credit card or cash to pay.Toll fares for a light passenger vehicle vary from under R10 to around R200, depending on the toll plaza – and you may pass through three or four of these before you reach your destination.Electronic toll collection (or e-tolls) is in place in Gauteng. Your car has to be identified electronically, via an e-tag for example, and a toll is deducted from a toll account. Visitors to Gauteng can register for an e-toll account, or buy day passes. Visit SA National Road Agency’s e-toll website for more info.See Automobile Association: Toll fees in South Africa – includes information on fees, locations, vehicle classifications and costs for frequently travelled routes.SafetySouth Africa has a high rate of traffic accidents so drive defensively and exercise caution when on the roads – especially at night – and keep a wary eye out for pedestrians and cyclists.Drivers of minibuses and taxis can behave erratically, and often turn a blind eye to rules and road safety considerations.In many of South Africa’s rural areas, the roads are not fenced, so watch out dogs, chickens, sheep and even horses or cows on the road. These can be particularly hazardous at night.Large antelope crossing the road can also pose a danger in certain areas – if you see road signs depicting a leaping antelope, take it slowly, especially towards evening.Never stop to feed wild animals – it is dangerous and you can incur a hefty fine if you do so.In general, be aware and keep your wits about you. It’s a good idea to drive with your doors locked and windows up, especially in cities and at traffic lights.Don’t ever stop to pick up hitchhikers. If you are worried about someone on the side of the road, report it to the police station in the next town.Ensure your car is locked when you park it and do not leave anything in sight. Lock things away in the trunk – known as the boot here – or the glove compartment (cubbyhole).Emergency numbers to save into your phone:ER24 paramedics: 084 124Police/Fire Department: 10111Ambulance: 10117Arrive Alive Call Centre: 0861 400 800Netcare Emergency: 082 911Read more: Safety tips for travellersReviewed October 2015Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Levi and Krysti Morrow from Morgan County are the editors of the Sept. 23, 2019 Growing our Generation enewsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.Hi! We’re Levi and Krysti Morrow, your guest editors for the Growing Our Generation e-Newsletter this week! With the “help” of our 15-month-old son, Charlie, we own and operate Rocky Knob Farms in McConnelsville. We are the u-pick strawberry and pumpkin source in Morgan County and now are dipping our feet into the commercial hair sheep business. Krysti spends her time split between mom life and farm life managing the day to day chores, marketing and planning for our u-pick operations and farmers markets. Levi is an agriculture education teacher at Morgan Local Schools in our county and does all the cropping and haying for the farm.In our 2017 edition, we discussed the importance of business planning, knowing your resources as a beginning farmer and what exactly we do with our leftover pumpkins. Thanks for joining us this week as we dive into some cool ideas!Sheep in AppalachiaOur jump into the sheep industry really took off in March of this year. I (Krysti) found myself in a sticky situation that I wasn’t really strong enough for. A calving cow was having a hard time and although I was able to pull the calf I couldn’t – by myself – move the cow around to help her circulation. Thankfully, a family member got home just in time to help move her and all ended up fine. That was a big wake up call for me and started the thought process that maybe cattle weren’t going to be the path we followed for our operation. Sheep, hair sheep specifically, were the livestock we found that seemed the best fit and so far we are enjoying learning more and more. One of the things we found helpful in deciding was the outlook for the sheep market; with the growing ethnic population in America, the market is seeing more and more of a demand for lamb. The other major factor that helped us decide was how our pastures lay and the shape of the land. In Southeast Ohio there aren’t many flat places and sheep are adequately designed to be able to graze a hillside more efficiently than cattle. We found this article, shared by the OSU Sheep Team, very interesting from the perspective that sheep may be one answer to repurposing some of the grown-up land in Appalachia and revitalizing some parts of our small communities. U-pick to answering consumer questionsWhen we opened the u-pick pumpkin patch for the first time in 2016, our two main goals were to make enough money to cover the mortgage payment and to help people understand how modern agriculture actually works by having conversations and answering their questions. It’s hard to start those conversations though just off the cuff. I mean, how do you ask someone what they think about modern agriculture without seeming too aggressive?We found that over the course of that season, a handful of people did ask us about how we fed our cattle at the time and made hay for them to eat over the winter and how we planted our pumpkins. Once we added strawberries in the spring of 2018, the conversations came a little more easily, likely because we were providing a product that would actually be eaten not just sit on your porch and look pretty. More and more moms asked us if we sprayed our strawberries with any pesticides and how we felt about our food system in America. A lot of their concerns seemed to stem back to the labels they see in the grocery store and what they actually mean.Now some of the people who asked us questions, already had their minds made up that if a product was sprayed with pesticide it was bad and they didn’t want anything to do with it – there was no changing or easing their mind. Others though were truly asking out of curiosity and wanted to know our opinions as farmers and the ones that are producing food. I think the portion of people in the middle – those that don’t know and are willing to listen and learn – are the group we’re looking to speak with and share the story of what happens on our farm with. If you are into listening to podcasts, What The Farm Podcast with Rob Sharkey and Leslie Kelly is a really good one when it comes to learning how we can relate more to the public. We’ll try to do a better job of sharing what goes on on our farm from day to day to help the public really see how their food is grown, it can’t hurt. SUBSCRIBE to receive Growing our Generation, a biweekly eletter with a different featured editor to meet each issue. Browse the archive of past issues.This e-newsletter is brought to you by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals. Learn more about Farm Bureau membership, including a discounted category for those 18-24 years old.
View comments Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Things became even uglier for the Philippines when it managed to score just a couple of points in the second quarter while China poured in 28 to go into the halftime break with a 61-15 lead.China is set to face the winner between Japan and Chinese-Taipei in the semifinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsLi Yueru led China with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double while Huang Sijing filled up the stat sheets with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists.Afril Bernardino led the Philippines, which ended its campaign sans a victory in four games, with 11 points. Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Gilas Pilipinas begins Fiba Asia buildup Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Photo from Fiba.comThe Philippines got clobbered as China flexed its might in a massive 117-43 beating in the quarterfinals of the Fiba Women’s Asia Cup Thursday at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in India.It was never a fight as the Chinese immediately went into the offensive from the opening period with a 33-13 lead to close the first quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES