Farewell to a Comrades stalwart

2015-06-10 06:00
PHOTO: eThekwini Living Legends

Sam Draai

PHOTO: eThekwini Living Legends Sam Draai

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SAM Draai, Comrades Marathon stalwart runner and South African Navy soldier during World War 11, died on 31 May.

The 93-year-old was passionate about the Comrades Marathon as a runner, supporter, technical official and long-standing volunteer. He completed “The Ultimate Human Race” 16 times and was a proud member of the Comrades Marathon Green Number Club.

Draai first ran Comrades in 1964, unofficially as non-white runners were not allowed to participate, becoming only the second non-white runner documented to have completed the race. He continued to compete unofficially until 1974. He went on to finish another seven races after 1975 when the race was opened to men and women of all races.

CMA board member Terence Hoskins said Draai was involved in various sports in Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

“He was always a fit man who loved sports and was very involved in the community. He was an enthusiastic volunteer. It was a pleasure working with him and an even greater privilege to have known him. He was the pride of the local running community in Pietermaritzburg and Sydenham in Durban and a huge inspiration to the greater coloured community. We will remember him fondly.”

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