A Passion for Comrades: Norrie Williamson’s Battle of the Shield

2008-06-07 00:00

Since its inception in 1921, the Comrades Marathon has been inspirational. Doubt was at first cast over the sanity of those 48 entrants, 34 of whom commenced the trek from Pietermaritzburg to Durban with only 16 completing the run.

Entries more than doubled for the 1922 up, with 89 runners facing the starter’s gun and 26 finishers. Still, that journalist could hardly have imagined that over 93 000 runners would be attracted to this oddly distanced event over the next 83 years, or that over 400 runners, half of them novices, would fly in from all over the world simply to be part of the 11 200 who will line up for next Sunday’s 86,94-km run to the Pietermaritzburg Oval.

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