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Full-time security guard wins Comrades Marathon ultra

Tete Dijana, a father of two young children, walked away with over USD $16,000 in prize money for his victory

comrades marathon Photo by: NedbankRunningClub/Instagram

A full-time security guard, father and part-time marathoner stunned a quality field at the 2022 Comrades Marathon on Sunday. Tete Dijana of Rustenburg, South Africa, crossed the line to win the 90 km ultra between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in an impressive time of 5:30:38–which works out to an average pace of 3:36 per km.

Tete Dijana won the 2022 Comrades Marathon after finishing 50th in 2019

Dijana only ran the race once before, in 2019, when he finished 50th, in 6:25:03. The 33-year-old ultrarunner who trains with South Africa’s prominent Nedbank Running Club, won the 95th Comrades Marathon with less than 10 km to go when he put in a surge and dropped the defending 2019 champion Edward Mothibi.

Dijana comes from humble beginnings, working night shifts as a full-time security guard at North-West University in Mahikeng, South Africa. He would often head to training in the morning and again in the afternoon, after working a night shift.

In a post-race interview with South African newspaper The Citizen, Dijana said he changed his training three months ago to focus more on ultrarunning than the marathon distance.

Earlier this year at the Nedbank Runified 50km, Dijana paced his Nedbank teammate Stephen Mokoka to the 50km world record of 2:40:13.

Dijana, a father of two young children, walked away with over USD $16,000 in prize money, which he hopes to put toward buying his first home.

Russian athlete wins the women’s race despite being initially banned

In the women’s race, Alexandra Morozova of Russia took the win in 6:17:48, after she was initially banned.

Morozova’s registration was withdrawn as the Comrades said they were acting on the instructions of World Athletics, which called for all Russian athletes who could win prize money at major races to be barred from entering any championships or affiliated races due to the conflict in Ukraine.

She was eventually allowed to compete, after she won a court application against the race at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. This was Morozova’s fourth time running Comrades and her first win. She won’t take home any winnings, due to World Athletics sanctions against Russian athletes.

She said to the media post-race that she received tons of support from fans on the course.

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