This is not the story of the Comrades Marathon. It’s my story of my involvement with Comrades for over 60 years. A race that started in 1921, the idea of a man who some said was crazy. Such a pity that Vic Clapham who had the idea, is not here to see what his crazy idea has grown to become. A crazy idea that saw just 16 runners complete that first Comrades in 1921.
Allow me to share some of my stories and the stories of some of the people I know and to whom I’ve spoken for their stories.
In some cases I give my opinion on matters related to Comrades but I hasten to add that I am not a coach nor do I pretend to be. All my opinions are based on my experiences through many years of association with this incredible “happening”.
It all started fairly early in the morning of Thursday 31st May 1956 when I saw Comrades for the first time as a boy of just 9. I grew up in Pinetown which is on the Comrades route and except for three races in 2006, 2007 and 2008 I have been at every Comrades since 1956.
I want to share some of the things I’ve learnt over many years as well as introduce some of the people I’ve met, many of whom are well known. The race has changed in so many ways yet as the years have gone by, and it has had to move with the times, it still remains an event that is simply amazing whether you’re a runner or a spectator.
I hope you enjoy what you read and I hope you can feel a little of what I do when you have been through it.