From worthy to plain daft

2013-06-03 00:00

WHILE most runners kept things as light as possible, some went the extra mile to stand out, either for a cause or simply to be daft.

Despite the blistering heat, one runner made a bold statement by running in a full rhino costume — huge rhino head included.

On the runner was a sign that read: “Save the rhinos”.

Among the daft, pink tutus were a favourite for both sexes, while traditional headgear and some even in full traditional attire made a dashingly retro fashion statement.

In the hot Berg wind, the men who opted to wear women’s wigs soon rued their choice of running accessory. But none stood out quite as prominently as the runner who stopped and took a picture of the halfway post before continuing his race … in a black and white cow suit complete with udders.

Other interesting runners included a man who ran in a full suit, bow tie included, while a woman came dressed as Minnie Mouse, with a polka dot dress and white running shoes.

Regardless of what runners wore, they all had one fashion item in common.

The broad smiles on every runner’s face as they crossed the halfway mark, knowing they had a chance to make it to the finish.

Many crossed the halfway mark limping, others sang and others made a few stops to greet and chat to their loved ones on the side of the road. A woman from Bloemfontein, Marijke de Wet (44) couldn’t run her sixth Comrades Marathon this year because of injuries. But she arrived at 6 am to make sure she stood on the side of the road to cheer runners with a large plastic lunch box packed with sandwiches spread with thick peanut butter or marmalade or potatoes. De Wet would even run with those who couldn’t stop to grab a sandwich to make sure they had something from her lunch box. And if she could not feed them, she would cheer them with “Keep going lady!” and “Well done guys!” and “Gijima!”

“I love the Comrades and I support everybody,” she said, adding that she has been coming to the Comrades Marathon ever since she finished school ages ago.

A family from Queensburgh had a banner up inscribed with the words: “Go Dad! Love from USA”.

Katherine Konigkramer said they were cheering for her husband’s brother, Gary from the U.S.

She said her brother-in-law turned 50 this year and it was always his dream to run the race. But Gary’s family, who also live overseas, could not tour with him to South Africa. To surprise their dad, Gary’s daughters sent a banner to SA with him, wrapped as a gift to the Konigkramer family.

“It was wrapped like a present for us. So he didn’t know,” said Katherine. Gary didn’t finish the race but he told his family that he was very impressed when he saw the banner.

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