Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha on Thursday, 22 June paid a courtesy visit to Comrades Marathon’s oldest runner Johannes Mosehla.

Mosehla, who is from Ga-Mogashoa Village, Sekhukhune District broke a 34-year-old Comrades Marathon record. At the age of 81, Mosehla became the oldest Comrades Marathon runner, beating a record previously held by Comrades Great Wally Hayward in 1989.

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Mathabatha congratulated Mosehla on the huge milestone and confirmed that the government would be organising an official event in his honour.

“As the Provincial Government we are happy and proud of Mr Mosehla’s deeds. He has put the province on a map, today we are not here to reward him but to know who is Johannes Mosehla who has done this excellent work. The provincial government will organise for the day where he will be awarded and celebrated properly.” said Mathabatha.

Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha pays courtesy visit to comrades Marathon record breaker Johannes Mosehla
Premier Stanley Mathabatha with Johannes Mosehla


Mosehla also expressed gratitude to the Premier, family, friends, and everyone for supporting him. He also shared his journey as a runner, the challenges he had as an athlete and the successes he had as a runner.

He further encouraged everyone young and old to engage in sports activities to stay healthy and strong, age should not be a barrier or an excuse to not engage in sports.

The old man became the oldest Comrades Marathon finisher at 9:26:10. He broke the record of 10:58:03 set in 1989. 

Johannes Mosehla, an 81-year-old runner from Sekhukhune, Limpopo made history at the Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu Natal on Sunday. Mosehla, who is a retired bricklayer, was running his 10th Comrades. He started running in 1963 and says he wants to retire at the age of 85.

On Sunday, the old man became the oldest Comrades Marathon finisher at 9:26:10. He broke the record set by Wally Hayward as the oldest person to complete the race. Hayward ran 10:58:03 in 1989 aged 80.

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Meanwhile, Tete Dijana won the Comrades Marathon for the second consecutive year, with a record-breaking time of 5:13:58.He stripped more than four minutes off David Gatebe’s best time of 5:18:19, in 2016.

Gerda Steyn won the women’s race in a time of 5:44:56. She also broke the down-run record, which was previously held by Frith van der Merwe in 1989 at a time of 5:54:43.

Limpopo runner Johannes Mosehla makes comrades Marathon history
Comrades Marathon runners


Over 2354 international runners from 84 countries entered this year’s Comrades Marathon. The lion’s share of athletes came from India with 403 athletes, Zimbabwe with 255, United Kingdom with 224, USA with 173 and Brazil with 142 runners.

This was the 96th Comrades Marathon, a down run which started at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ended 12 hours later at the Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.


The 24th of May 2023 marked a centenary of women’s participation in The Ultimate Human Race. Frances Hayward was the first woman to have unofficially completed the Comrades Marathon in 1923, during a time when the race was only open to white men.

At the age of 30, the intrigue of the Comrades Marathon had caught Hayward’s attention and she sent a letter to Vic Clapham and applied to run in the 1923 race. Her entry left Clapham and the Athletics Association in a state of confusion as they had never had a woman applying to enter any male athletics events before.

After considerable debate, they refused to accept her entry. She sent an immediate response to the association and Vic that she was undaunted by their decision and would therefore run unofficially.

So, on only the third running of the race in 1923, she lined up outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall with the 68 men who were competing that year.

Frances crossed the line in 11:35:00, in what would have been 28th position in a field of 30 finishers that year

Nedbank Running Club’s Tete Dijana has won his back-to-back Men’s Comrades Marathon Race in a record down run time. The security guard from North West finished in a time of 05:13:58 to beat David Gatebe’s best down run time of 5:18:19 in 2016.

For his efforts, he won R1.2 million for finishing first, beating the record and being the first South African over the finish line.

Piet Wiersma and Edward Mothibi, also from Nedbank running club, finished second and third respectively.


“I was checking [at Pier Wiersma] because I wanted to relax. My friend [Wiersma] was coming. So I told myself to just reserve the energy for him because my legs were a little bit tired,” he told SuperSport TV.

“It was hard because the race was too fast. Edward came to me and told me these guys are fast. So I just decided to stay behind the guys and later on, decided to push it.

Tete Dijana wins Comrades marathon in record time
Gerda Steyn


“My coach told me that I must not break too much because next time we should break it again but my friend was giving me pleasure. So I had to break it like this.”

Another record for South Africa, Gerda Steyn has won the 2023 Comrades Marathon in a new down run record of 5:44:54 (unofficial). This is a second win for Gerda, having been champion in 2019.

She beat the 5:54:43 record that was set by Frith van der Merwe in 1989.

More to follow…