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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'Comrades is the ultimate ultra race' - Camille Herron is back for Comrades!

With Comrades Marathon reigning women's champion, Gerda Steyn having announced that she won't take part in this year's event in order to prepare for the New York Marathon in November, the battle in women's race is wide open. Amongst the contenders is Camille Herron.

Herron on her way to winning the 2017 Comrades Marathon. Photo Credit: CMA Media.

Herron will aim for a strong comeback after failing to finish the 2019 edition due to an injury. The 40-year-old United States of America ultra-marathon sensation has had a busy year. In February she broke her 12-Hour and 100 Mile World Records at the Jackpot 100/US Championship, winning the race outright and beating all of the men. Then in April, she became the youngest woman to reach 100,000 lifetime miles. These are kinds of statistics that indicate that the 50 mile World Record holder with the time of 5:38:41 is in splendid form.

"Comrades is the ultimate ultra race in the world and I love this year, the people, community, and South Africa!!! Yes, it will be fun to race against the world’s best ultra runners. Unfortunately, I was sick in 2014 and got injured in 2019 so 3rd time is the charm! I am looking forward to crossing the finish line smiling," she said.

Herron says she loves the vibe and the people that take part in the Comrades. Photo Credit: CMA Media.

Should the Nedbank International athlete manage to cross the finish line in Pietermaritzburg then it will be the American's firs successful Down Run. In 2014, she started in Pietermaritzburg but injury forced her to withdraw mid-race. It means that the woman who holds a 2:37:14 marathon personal best has only finished one Comrades from three starts which was her 6:27:35 effort to win the 2017 Up Run.

One of the main contenders that is expected to go head-to-head with Herron is Ann Ashworth. The 2018 Champion has the fastest Down Run time in the field. Her 2018 winning time of 6:10:04 is the tenth fastest time down run time in history. This year she placed seventh in the Two Oceans Marathon. Another runner who has enjoyed great form this year is Adele Broodryk. The 31-year-old Murray & Roberts Running Club athlete won the tough and hilly Om Die Dam 50k and then placed second in N12 Ultra Marathon in July.

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