The Comrades Marathon, aka The Ultimate Human Race, is an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km (approx. 55 miles) which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon race. The direction of the race alternates each year between the “up” run (87 km) starting from Durban and the “down” run (now 90.184 km) starting from Pietermaritzburg.
The race was the idea of World War I veteran Vic Clapham, to commemorate the South African soldiers killed during the war. Clapham, who had endured a 2,700-kilometre route march through sweltering German East Africa, wanted the memorial to be a unique test of the physical endurance of the entrants. The constitution of the race states that one of its primary aims is to “celebrate mankind’s spirit over adversity”.
The spirit of the Comrades Marathon is said to be embodied by attributes of camaraderie, selflessness, dedication, perseverance, and ubuntu, and this is borne out every year by those who run, those who support and those who cheer!
Some of the inspirational heroes of Comrades 2018 are:
Charmaine Nortier (48), the Free State mom who put off chemotherapy to run the Comrades Marathon (for the 6th time);
Daniel de Wet from Carltonville who survived being impaled by 1,8-metre metal industrial crowbar that penetrated his body during a mining accident in January 2015 (please look at the x-ray – it is a wonder this man survived, let alone survived to run the Comrades (for the 7th time)!!
Gina a recovering alcoholic who worked tirelessly to get off the alcohol, lose weight, and train for the Comrades, which she ran this year in support of the Rhinos.
Xolani Luvuno – A recovering drug-addict, cancer survivor and amputee, who was due to compete wearing running blades, but when the prosthetic let him down, he refused to give up on his dream and completed the Comrades 2018 ON CRUTCHES!!!
Luvuno set off on the gruelling 90km race five hours before the official start, and finished in a time of 15 hours and 50 minutes. He crossed the finish line just before 16:30 – an hour before the official cut-off time.
I am sure that there are many more Comrades 2018 Heroes out there and we salute all of them!
Our Hero – Jose Bates
Our hero is an unassuming young man with the name of Jose Bates, who ran in support of The Little Fighters Cancer Trust and all our Little Fighters.
When asked how he had done on Sunday, Jose had this to say:
I managed to finish eventually in a time of 9:36. Not my best race by far, but one of my most rewarding and challenging challenges to date.
Jose raised funds on Back-a-Buddy for LFCT, meeting and exceeding his target amount, raising a total of R 30 725.94, for which we are extremely grateful. 😍 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
What was, as always, also great to see is the support that Jose got from his Loved Ones for this the Ultimate Challenge!!
Team Zico proudly supported our hero in his efforts to fundraise for our Little Fighters by dedicating his Comrades 2018 run to them, as can be seen in this photo – proud supporters of Team Zico and the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.
Thanks Gals – YOU ROCK!!!
Jose also got many of his friends and supporters to add the Little Fighters Frame to their Facebook Profile Pics to garner support for his efforts and for LFCT and Children with Cancer!
Jose your heart really runs Green & Gold 💚💛
❣️❣️ THANK YOU ❣️❣️
YOU are OUR HERO and we SALUTE YOU!