14,000 runners, 55 miles, 1 kind of hat

Comrades_marathonRunning a marathon is hard, but not nearly hard enough for some people. Next Thursday, more than 14,000 intrepid souls will gather for the world’s largest ultramarathon, the Flora Comrades Marathon, a 55-mile trek over undulating hills in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal region. The race is a national event in South Africa, drawing national TV coverage, and thousands of spectators will line the route from Pietermartizburg to Durban. But if you’re thinking of joining the fun, leave your Nike hat at home: The rules only allow hats with logos from sponsor Harmony Gold, a South African gold-mining company. Some runners are pretty ticked about not being able to wear their favorite hats. Still, Comrades does allow any logos on shirts and shorts. I wonder who sponsors the medical tent.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey