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Comrades Marathon


"The Comrades Marathon" owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, a World War I veteran named Vic Clapham.
 
He was born in London on 16 November 1886 and emigrated as a youth to the Cape Colony in South Africa, with his parents at the outbreak of the South African War (Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902).
 
With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914-1918, Vic Clapham signed up with the 8th South African Infantry and fought and marched 1700 miles of the eastern savannahs of Africa in pursuit of Glen Paul Von Lettow-Vorbecks askari battalions.
 
The pain, agonies, death and hardships of his comrades, which he witnessed during those awful days, left a lasting impression on the battle-hardened soldier, especially the camaraderie between the men in overcoming these privations.
 
When peace was declared in 1918, Clapham felt that all those who had fallen in this catastrophic war should be remembered and honoured in a unique way, where individuals physical frailties could be put to the test and overcome.
 
Clapham asked for permission to stage a 56 mile race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban under the name of the Comrades Marathon and for it to become a living memorial to the spirit of the soldiers of the Great War.
 
After being refused permission for several years, Vic was finally granted his Comrades Marathon. The first Comrades Marathon took place on 24th May 1921, Empire Day, starting outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg with 34 runners.

The Comrades Legacy

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It has continued since then every year with the exception of the war years 1941-1945, with the direction alternating each year between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the so called up & down runs.
 
The Comrades Marathon is a cherished national treasure and attracts thousands of runners, spectators and television viewers every year. We invite you to participate in this great event and experience the world's greatest race." - Courtesy of www.siyabona.com

Copyright © 2017 Msunduzi

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