Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 156 Issue 156 - Feb 2023 | Page 28

MANN the running mann by STUART MANN


MANN the running mann by STUART MANN

More Fees , Fewer Finishers

I am , unfortunately , still a grumpy old Running Mann , due to a persistent and lingering injury , which means no new race reports for now , but the time away from the road is giving me plenty of time to run statistics , so here is my 2022 Marathon Running Year in Review .

Running marathons all over South Africa is one of my passions . Another is statistics , and in this article , I provide an analysis of South Africa ’ s 2022 marathon and ultra road running season . Comparisons are made to 2019 ( rather than 2021 data ), as this was the last complete running season before COVID .

There was a total of 99 events in 2022 , comprising 81 standard marathons , 17 ultras and one combo event ( the Uniwisp Fast One that offered a marathon and a 50km option ). This number is substantially down from 2019 , which had 117 events , and some of the notable marathon absentees from the 2022 calendar were Red Hill , Akasia , Ottosdal , Cango , Sapphire Coast , Mandela Day , Prison to Prison and PetroSA . On the ultra front , notable gaps were Run 4 Cancer 46km , South Coast 48km , Loskop 50km , Chatsworth 52km and Laingsburg 80km . Hopefully we ’ ll see most of these back on the calendar in 2023 .
However , we have the anomaly in South African athletics of having nine official provinces , but 19 “ athletics provinces ,” and the graph below provides a more detailed breakdown of events by athletics province . ( A good challenge is to run a marathon in all 19 , and to the best of my knowledge , only one person has managed this to date ). Although North West Central had no marathons in 2022 , the Ottosdal Nite Marathon is back in 2023 to fill that gap .
Marathons by Province
With 19 events , KwaZulu-Natal is the best place to live for the obsessive marathon runner , whilst Northern Cape and North West have the scarcest supply .
Marathons by Month
The graph below shows the spread of marathons and ultras over the year ( with 2019 data included for comparison ). The marathon schedule generally revolves around the Comrades qualification period , and the unusual 28 August 2022 Comrades race date resulted in a more even spread of marathons over the year , instead of having most marathons crammed into February , March and April . However , we are returning to that in 2023 , with a June Comrades date .
The Red Hill Marathon was one of the races still missing in 2022
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