It was that time of year again, the time where runners were about to be rewarded for the many months of hard training. It was time for them to gather in PMB to start their long 89.2km journey to Durban. A race we call, THE COMRADES MARATHON.
It was a honour to be part of KPMG elite club in seconding our men and woman in their 89.2 km race that would challenge them, mould them, humble them and make dreams come true.
At 3am on Sunday the 29 May 2016 we were up and about making sure our runners were fuelled, fed and at Town Hall on time to do a small warmup before standing on the start line.
KPMG never ceases to amaze me. Their love, support, encouragement and organisation in all they do for their athletes is something quite extraordinary. Pierre Jacobs and Dana Coetzee really are amazing people with a passion for sport like no other.
Finally the hair raising moment was here, the athletes were on the start line singing the national anthem, then came Chariots of fire, the rooster crowing, a BANG and they were OFF.
I cannot explain the goosebumps, the excitement and the pride I felt for everyone on that start line and especially for our KPMG runners.
As a runner the hardest thing in training for a single big event is getting to the race healthy, fit and uninjured and these athletes had done that.
It was such an exciting, emotional and exhausting day seconding them along the route. Watching them race with such passion, witnessing the up’s and downs, the good and bad patches yet smiling the whole time and never losing spirit. I was humbled seeing this.
“Every race is an opportunity to measure yourself against your own potential” and this is just what they did.
It certainly was a nail biting finish, from TomTom’s David Gatebe making history and smashing the record, finishing in a time of 5.18.19..and wearing his Sziols sports glasses I might add.
To the insane drama that went on in the womans race. Just when we thought our Champion Caroline Wostmann had the race in the bag she endured a brutal finish. From being hit by a motor bike to cramping and loosing her 11 minute lead on Charne Bosman.
“A smooth race never made a skilful racer.”
Caroline had us all jumping, screaming and sitting on the edge of our seats willing her to the finish. The suffering she went through but never once gave up is something extraordinary. You are “extraordinary Caroline”. The whole of South Africa was behind you then and we cannot be more proud of how you fought your way to the finish.
“Winners are not people who never fail but people who never quit”
Caroline that is you, YOU are a winner in all our eyes. An inspiration and we salute you.
Charne Bosman took over Caroline in the last few kilometres to take the win and I am really proud of her for that as I know how hard she has worked and how much this is a dream come true for her. Congratulations Charne, all your hard work, dedication and commitment has paid off. You deserve it.
We had outstanding performances in both the KPMG elite men and woman. The 4 time Olympian Colleen De Reuck showed that even at the age of 52 she still has it and finished 7th overall, a gold just behind our gorgeous Kerry-Ann Marshall who turned many heads as she charged her way to grab that rose she has always wanted and the finish in 6th place, another Gold for our ladies.
To all the Comrades Marathon runners:
“You fought battles, overcame obstacles.
You had a goal, gave it your soul.
You worked hard, went the extra yard.
You gave it your all, you stand tall.”
I SALUTE YOU ALL