David Knowles
2 minute read
26 May 2012
00:00

Boshoff makes Africa proud

David Knowles

GARY Boshoff, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) general manager, has become Africa’s first representative elected to the board of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (Aims)...

GARY Boshoff, Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) general manager, has become Africa’s first representative elected to the board of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (Aims).

This happened at the 19th Aims congress in Prague, Czech Republic.

Aims has been representing the running fraternity and marathon running for 30 years and has 300 members from around the world.

Some of the world’s iconic marathons are represented by Aims, including the London and Boston Marathons. South Africa has the Two Oceans, Comrades and Maritzburg Marathons in the ranks.

While honoured to represent SA and the continent on the board, Boshoff knows his presence is for the benefit of road running. His mission being to get more South African and African representatives within Aims.

“My selection came as a surprise. I was in Prague with CMA [chairperson] Peter Proctor, bidding to host the prestigious Aims Congress in 2014, when I was approached by the president of Aims, asking if I would be prepared to be on the board.

“After discussion with Peter, we agreed the opportunity would provide a mouthpiece for the Comrades Marathon and marathon running in South Africa. My nomination was put forward and I was elected,” he said.

It’s a two-year term, with the option of a further two years if desired. Once those options have expired, the process starts again, with nomination and voting.

“My objective is to serve South African road running and the Comrades. Aims has strict technical procedures to ensure the sport remains clean and strong. For instance, the Comrades route is measured every five years by an accredited Aims route measurer to ensure when we say it’s 89,7 km that’s what it is, nothing more, nothing less.

“Being on the Aims board also allows access to the International Association of Athletics Federations, with proposals sent to the IAAF committee to determine international road running rules. “This can only promote running and create renewed interest in the sport.”

Aims has a worldwide children’s programme and on June 2, Hoy Park in Durban hosts the Aims /DSR Youth Run, the first ever Aims children’s race in South Africa.

While never having run the Comrades — “A half marathon does it for me” — Boshoff holds the race close to his heart.