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Claude Moshiywa leads the 2013 Comrades

Claude Moshiywa has just a few km left to complete the race.

Runners at the 2013 Comrades Marathon make their way up a hill. Picture: @TanyaKovarsky via Twitter.

DURBAN - Temperatures are beginning to rise as the top runners break away from the pack to compete for Comrades gold.

The 88th Comrades Marathon is being run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Reports say runners are in high spirits despite the early 5.30 start this morning outside Durban's City Hall for the 89km race.

In the mens race, Claude Moshiywa is leading the pack with an unbelievable time. Johannes Kekana is in second.

In the womens race, the famous Russian twins, Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva are leading the pack.

Meanwhile, the organisers of the marathon put in all the final touches in place to cater for around 18,000 runners.

There are 48 refreshment stations along the route manned by around 5,000 volunteers.

Runners spend in excess of 10 hours on the road and require solids and liquids to compete.

Around 2 million water sachets, 38,000 litres of Pepsi Cola and other carbonated drinks, 660,000 sachets of Energade, 600 boxes of bananas, 784 bags of oranges and 800kg of biscuits have been provided for the athletes.

Runners will follow the 89km route and finish the race at the Oval cricket Stadium in Pietermaritzburg

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Meanwhile, runner Vincent O'Neil will attempt to become the first person to complete the race in a rhino costume.

It's the first time the UK national is competing in South Africa.

His visit got off to a bad start on Friday after his iPhone, iPad and R3,000 were stolen from his bag while he was in a media interview.

He says despite the setback, he is still determined to raise as much money as possible for his charity called Save the Rhino International.