Cutoff: Turned away halfway

2010-05-31 00:00

THE second cut-off for the Comrades Marathon was at the halfway point — Drummond.

After six hours and 10 minutes, the route was closed off and runners who had not reached the point were turned away.

Reaching the halfway mark was a joyous occasion for many runners. While some remained focused and ran steadily over the mat, others danced and some even ululated loudly as they ran under the big “halfway” banner.

At 11.30 am — just 10 minutes before cutoff time — runners began either sprinting or power walking over the line to ensure that they were not left behind.

Celebrity runner Brad Brown, who ran to raise money for PinkDrive — a breast cancer awareness campaign, crossed over the halfway point just five minutes before it was due to close. Wearing a pink bandana, he mouthed the words “thank you” to supporters who cheered him on.

At exactly 11.40 am officials sounded the gun and the route was barricaded. Daniel Mbonani just missed his chance to slip through the gates. “It’s a very tough race, and this is a very tough feeling,” he said, exhausted and disappointed.

Reggy Govender from Chatsworth followed close behind Mbonani. Asked how he felt, Govender managed to utter one word: “Dead!” However, he did say that this would be his last Comrades. “I’ll never ever do this again,” he said.

Addool Hassen dropped to his knees after failing to make the cutoff. “I am so disappointed,” he said. “But this is not the end, I’ll be back next year, definitely!”

 

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