Comrades never ceases to amaze

Comrades Marathon
Comrades Marathon

The 2018 Comrades Marathon is upon us and everyone is excited. Personally, I have nothing but respect for all participants.

The distance between Pietermaritzburg and Durban is daunting enough even when one is driving. These hardy souls actually run it. Like all sports fanatics, I'll be watching with keen interest.

I'll probably never run it but the inspiration I get from the runners is something I can't ignore.

There is one thing that is common among the winners at this wonderful race, they are so humble.

Most participants hold full-time jobs and have to juggle gruelling training and work, while others have added parenting responsibilities.

The smiles and camaraderie mask all that hard work. Right now we can do with positive news.

There's something very special about recent South African male winners.

David Gatebe, Claude Moshiywa, Ludwick Mamabolo and Gift Kelehe all hold full-time jobs.

I remember seeing a video about what Moshiywa goes through in his training. He had to wake in the wee hours of the morning while most of us are snoozing. Bongmusa Mthembu has never failed to mention that he represents rural runners who do not have much support from authorities.

Not to be outdone, our ladies have inspiring stories of their own. The 2015 winner, Caroline Wostmann, is also a university lecturer and had to put up with nature breaks on her way to that victory. She discovered running relatively late while jogging to shed baby weight after giving birth. She has been hooked on running since.

The 2016 winner, Charne Bosman, comes from a track background and has gone all the way to ultra marathons. If that's not astonishing, I don't know what it is.

May the best runners win but I'll be rooting for a South African winner.

Good luck to all participants.

Richardson Mzaidume


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