Comrades heroes Weight, Winn, Mtolo in Hall of Fame

2008-06-16 00:00

Two-time Comrades winner Lindsay Weight was posthumously inducted to the Runners World Nedbank Hall of Fame at the weekend along with road running administrator and previous Comrades chairman, Mick Winn, and South African running icon Willie Mtolo.

Weight, a respected sports scientist who attended Natal University in the 1980s, was honoured for her contribution to the sport and the unselfish assistance she provided to many others to achieve their running and sporting goals. In 1983, Weight became the first woman to receive a gold medal for her winning performance.

The following year she became the first lady to break seven hours on a down run recording 6:46.35 for the 89,8 km race to Durban.

Weight died in September 2006 at the age of 44 and the award was accepted on her behalf by her husband Ian Little.

Also inducted to the Hall of Fame was Pietermaritzburg pharmacist Winn, whose involvement with the Comrades Marathon began with his first run in 1964. His association with the race has already extended a further 44 years, seeing him take on the role of chairman for 12 years and then as chairman of the Comrades trust.

“One of the highlights in my time as chair was 1975 when the Comrades Committee held out against the old SAAAU to initiate the opening of Comrades to women and racial equality,” said Winn, husband of race winner and previous Comrades CEO, Cheryl. He was also long time chair of the South African Road running Association during the long unification negations that led to the birth of ASA in 1994.

The final inductee for 2008 was KZN’s Mtolo who was twice crowned South African Marathon Champion and ran a 2:08.15 in 1986 to become one of the world’s fastest marathoners at the time. In 1989, he finished second to Sam Tshabalala and three years later won the New York Marathon in 2:09.29 seconds.

“My introduction to running was a 15-km run to school and a 15-km back home each day … but I am very thankful to have found it … Not only has it taken me to many places around the world, but it kept me away from many … bad youthful temptations,” said the man from Underberg who won the tenth gold medal in 5:53.35 on Sunday.

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