Verulam Athletics Club ready for Comrades epic

2016-05-26 06:00
Some of the Verulam Athletic Club’s brave Comrades entrants for this year. Back (from left): Andrew Dlamini, Simon Blose, Johnny Karanjoo and Strini Nadesan. Front (from left): Vukani Maphumulo, Anita Sewnarain, Marlene  Pillay , Krish Naidoo and Pravin Sewnarain.x

Some of the Verulam Athletic Club’s brave Comrades entrants for this year. Back (from left): Andrew Dlamini, Simon Blose, Johnny Karanjoo and Strini Nadesan. Front (from left): Vukani Maphumulo, Anita Sewnarain, Marlene Pillay , Krish Naidoo and Pravin Sewnarain.x

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

VERULAM Athletic Club (VAC) pronounced their readiness for the 91st running of the ultimate human endurance race: the Comrades marathon.

This year’s race is a ‘down-run’ from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, with all eyes and feet attempting to reach Sahara Stadium before 5.30pm on Sunday, 29 May.

At Saturday’s Comrades pasta send-off, coupled with the weekend’s Comrades development challenge run, all runners pronounced that they are free of niggles as the countdown begins to the running world’s own ‘theatre of dreams’.

Although dubbed the ‘down-run’, the first 27km is anything but downhill as runners are braced for challenging route this year, with a slightly longer run. The large field also makes movement on certain parts of the route restrictive.

Nevertheless, the sheer magnitude of the event as the largest of its kind anywhere in the world and its snake-like field of runners makes the Comrades an awesome sight to behold.

With spectators lining up the route from dawn ‘til dusk, the adrenaline keeps one going, despite the pain barrier.

Young and old, frail and fit; the throngs of people at the race’s vantage points encourage runners from all parts of the world to keep going, which, according to VAC’s member, Anand Naicker, makes the Comrades Marathon a “must-run race”.

“The Comrades is an event where race and status mean nothing as all competing runners are comrades; helping each other to reach one common goal: Durban Sahara Stadium by 5.30pm,” said Naicker.

“The thunderous applause that awaits the runners as they take to the grass on entering the stadium is an indescribable and cherished moment, never to be forgotten,” he added.

Verulam Athletic Club’s team in the Comrades is led by veteran Krish Naidoo, having completed 23 Comrades marathons and now attempting his 24th.

Other VAC members taking on the Comrades this year include veteran Johnny Karanjoo and speedster Vukani Maphumulo, who is shooting for a personal best.

“I think that this year will be my best ever as I have stepped up my training and followed the club’s elite programme for A-seeded runners.

“The silver is now in my range,” said Maphumulo, who is going for his ninth Comrades medal.

The athletics club also has three female runners taking to the road, who are led by the talented Nokukhanye Nsibande.

She will be joined by the dangerous Marlene Pillay, who is attempting her eight Comrades this year.

Anita Sewnarain, who shed off the novice tag last year with an accomplished finish during the ‘up-run’, makes a return for the prestigious back-to-back medal for two consecutive runs – both up and down this year.

“Despite a long layoff from debilitating injury, her determination has brought her through to qualifying and she is determined to use the lay off as a means of coming fresh into the race,” said Naicker.

Marlene Pillay and Strini Nadesan are on course for a historic VAC double celebration: the Two Oceans Marathon and Comrades Marathon double.

Running star Siyanda Makhanya, with three consecutive silver medals under his belt, will be attempting his fourth silver in under the 7 hours and 30 minutes cut-off.

Sifiso Mbonambi; a stalwart in distance running, is attempting his fifth Bill Rowan medal, and he also “cannot wait for Sunday to arrive”.

As scores of runners take to the road on Sunday, one thing remains true about the historic Comrades Marathon; it will humble you.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.