Meet Frank, the man who’s raced every Loskop Marathon

Frank Wessels (62) holds the remarkable achievement of being the only person to have ever competed in every single edition of the Loskop Marathon.

Frank has no plans to stop running, “God willing, I will continue to do the Loskop Marathon forever, or at least as long as I have a body to do it.”

He also shared some of his favourite memories throughout the years, one being near the Kranspoort section of the Loskop Marathon, when a kudu jumped over an athlete just ahead of him, “We all stopped in shock, then the Englishman crouched down and shouted ‘Did yer see that?’, we then carried on as if nothing happened.”

Another instance that’s stuck in Frank’s mind is when his friend John Rieb was 4km away from finishing the Loskop Marathon when he suddenly got hit by a wayward bakkie. John was unable to finish the race and had to be immediately hospitalised due to a broken knee, this was described as a low point by Frank.

Frank is ready for this weekend’s Loskop Marathon.

“Being able to meet legends like Olympic gold medallist Josia Thugwane and nine-time Comrades Marathon winner Bruce Fordyce is excellent, but the icing on top of the cake was sharing vodka shots with Russian runner Dmitri Grishin!”

Frank ran the first four Loskop Marathons with his late father John, a special period in Frank’s life that he holds very close to his heart, “I am very grateful to have raced with my dad, I still think of him often.”

Frank has participated in the race with his wife Estelle 20 times, with this year set to be the 21st, however, Estelle will be taking part in the 21km Ultimate Wild Challenge, with Frank competing in the 50km Ultra Marathon. Frank also had his daughter, Leigh Smit, by his side for four Loskop Marathons.

Frank is very grateful for his family’s support, including that of his daughter Donvé.

He has been a member of the Middelburg Marathon Club for all iterations of the Loskop Marathon.

Frank with his wife Estelle.

When asked about any potential sites or views runners should pay attention to, Frank answered, “Everything on the back 25km of the race, once you are in the bush, it’s simply magical being out there admiring nature in all its glory.”

The Middelburg Observer asked Frank which Loskop Marathon was his favourite, he paused, thinking carefully about his reply, “I really do love them all, they all represent a different time in my life, with countless memories attached to every race. But, if I had to choose a favourite, I would have to say that there is nothing like the first.”

Frank is so passionate about the Loskop Marathon, that even during the pandemic, which led to the cancellation of the marathon, he still ran the route in an unofficial capacity. When asked why he did this, Frank smiled and said, “It is for all the people that can not race anymore, for all the lifelong friends I have made, and for my dad.”

The Loskop Marathon will make its grand return this Saturday on May 6, Frank will be there, will you?

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