Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
16 Aug 2014
10:30 am

Comrades incentives not helping runners

Wesley Botton

There are reasons, which the rest of the world might not understand, that a 90km ultra-marathon across the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal is South Africa's most prestigious race.

Wesley Botton.

In every other country which has popularised road running, the standard 42.195km marathon is the flagship event, but for three decades while the rest of the globe was preparing for the quadrennial Olympic marathon, our long- distance runners had no such goal for which to aim.

Instead, the remarkable performances of a young athlete with flowing blond hair helped make the Comrades Marathon such a popular race that just about every South African with a television set would relax at home on race day and watch Bruce Fordyce make the arduous challenge look like a jog in the park.