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Power to the People: ‘Escomrades’ Would Illuminate 65,000 Homes



Dubbed the “Escomrades,” the 14,895 runners who completed the gruelling 87.7km ultra-marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday generated enough power to illuminate the riverside city of Parys for over half a day.

From the record-setting winner, Tete Dijana, who finished the down-run in an impressive time of 5 hours, 13 minutes, and 58 seconds, to the final participant, Tebello Skasa, who crossed the finish line in 11 hours, 58 minutes, and 59 seconds, each runner averaged approximately 7,000 watt-hours of energy during the race, as estimated by Kevin Goldstein, a physics professor at Wits University as reported by the Times Live.

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In total, this amounted to around 100 megawatt-hours of energy, which, according to Goldstein, could power:

  • 5,400 homes for 12 hours,
  • 65,000 homes for one hour, or
  • a single home for approximately seven-and-a-half years.

To put it into perspective, the combined output of all the Comrades runners matched the energy generated by the 420MWh-Kelvin power station in Gauteng within just 15 minutes, Goldstein added.

Eskom’s website states that Parys, located in the northern Free State, consumes 8MW per hour. Based on this information, the runners’ energy output would sustain the city’s lights for approximately 13 hours.


While it is not possible to harness the power generated by the runners on the road, it might be for the best considering the potential consequences if Eskom were to organise the Comrades or any other race, for that matter.

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Photo: Facebook / @Times LIVE

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