The Comrades Marathon in South Africa is the world's oldest and most epically grueling ultra - 89 kilometers of sub-saharan heat and hills billed as 'the ultimate human race'.

The thought of that distance makes my mouth go instantly dry.

The system for awarding medals depends on finishing time - every runner gets a participation medal, but which type you get is determined by the what's on the clock when you cross the line. The cutoff for the 'Bill Rowan' medal (named for the Comrades' first winner in 1921) is 9 hours.

Watching the seconds tick down on Sameul Corneluis's battle against time and the last hundred meters is intense. Doesn't it seem like lunacy? Jaw dropping, awe-inspiring, goddamn beautiful lunacy.

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