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Great performance by Welsh Master Ifan Lloyd in the South African Comrades Ultra-Marathon...

*Pictured above - Welsh Master and Swansea Harrier Ifan Lloyd.

Great performance by Welsh Master Ifan Lloyd in the South African Comrades Ultra-Marathon...

Report by Don Hale.


Welsh Master and Swansea Harrier Ifan Lloyd bravely completed the gruelling Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa last month, which is said to be one of the world’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon events.

This year, and described as an ‘up-run,’ this prestigious annual race was held in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa and started in waves from 5.30am by the City Hall in Durban, and eventually finished 88kms (55 miles), away in Pietermaritzburg.

The organisers claimed it is ‘The Ultimate Human Challenge,’ and said it’s the ‘Unofficial World Championships of ultra-running.

Ifan was one of about 22,522 entrants with some 17,304 finishers and amazingly, he completed his own epic performance in a superb time of just 8 hours 3 minutes and 42 seconds to claim 10th place in his MV60-69 age category, and he was the 1st international runner and Welsh athlete in his veteran group and collected the Bill Rowan medal.

There were 84 finishers in Ifan’s respective age cat from 155 entrants, and he was 1,478th overall, and the 1,377th male athlete. He also set an incredible new PR at 50k, with all his times verified at key checkpoints along the route, including, Pinetown, Winston Park, Drummond, Cato Ridge, Umlaas Road, and Mkondeni, with supporters able to follow the progress of all competitors online throughout the event.

Ifan later explained that at one stage he was in 3rd place in his age cat at the 30-mile point before hitting fuelling issues and later admitted to struggling for about 15-miles, before he “got going” again during the latter stages of the race to celebrate his incredible result.

*Ifan Lloyd is pictured in the white vest (centre) with colleagues at the event.


*This is Ifan’s personal report of his efforts from this unique event: Comrades Marathon, South Africa 2024.


Finished it! An amazing experience filled with lifelong memories. A super tough race with many highs and lows on the 54-mile plus journey from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.  Enthusiastic support along the whole route, and so many new friends made as we shared the same experience. Happy to finish in 8 hours 3 minutes and 42 seconds.

The first 32-miles went well before a tough patch, after which I re-found my mojo to finish strongly. This was a step into the unknown having not previously competed over the ultra-marathon distance on the road – and a steep learning curve! 

The sound of 20,000 voices singing anthems and ‘Chariots of Fire’ music in the lead up to race start and, of course, the traditional crow of the cockerel just before the gun was an altogether incredible experience - check it out on You Tube! 

They say the Comrades is addictive so who knows whether I’ll be drawn back next year, this time to run it in the reverse (downhill) direction! Thanks to everyone for the messages of support. They made a difference during those tough moments when the body wanted to give up.

Elite race results:


*This year’s Comrades Marathon was won by the Flying Dutchman, Piet Wiersma (Nedbank International) in 5.25.00. His victory made up for last year’s result, when the talented student, who is based in Italy, just missed out on glory after finishing three-seconds behind the 2023 winner Tete Dijana, who smashed the course record in a time of 5.14.01. 

This time, Piet was forty-five-seconds ahead of his nearest rival Dan Moselakwe, who finished 2nd in 5.25.45, with Degefa Yohannese Lafebo 3rd in 5.27.48. 

The 1st female athlete was Gerda Steyn (Phantane AC), 23rd overall in 5.49.46, and the first four male finishers all represented the same Nedbank International club. 

Two British runners also finished in the top-ten placings, with Andrew Davies 5th in 5.30.46, and Alex Milne 9th in 5.36.31.



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