Samrai, Ooi conquer brutal Comrades ultra-marathon in 11 hours-plus

TWO Warrnambool runners are celebrating breaking the 12-hour cut-off mark at the most brutal ultra-marathon in the world, Comrades.

Raj Samrai and Kai Ooi finished the 89.3-kilometre event from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in South Africa with less than half-an-hour to spare.

Samrai, an Englishman who also competed last year, finished in 11 hours, 37 minutes and 46 seconds, slightly slower than his 2013 effort.

Ooi, a Singaporean running for the first time, clocked 11.45.25. They were among 18,000 who braved an event dubbed “the ultimate human race”. A third Warrnambool runner, South African Franco Schreve, managed it past the 71-kilometre mark before pulling out.

South African Bongmusa Mthembu was the first runner home in 5.28.31, averaging an astounding 3.41 minutes per kilometre.

English-born Canadian Eleanor Greenwood took the women’s honours in 6.18.15. Greenwood averaged 4.15 minutes per kilometre.

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