Meet a 4th-generation Comrades runner

2010-12-02 00:00

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, Antony Clapham is set to become the first descendant in his family to run the Comrades Marathon.

His great-grandfather, Vic Clapham senior, initiated the first-ever Comrades Marathon in 1921, leaving a great legacy for future generations.

His grandfather, Vic Clapham junior, created another legacy by founding the First Hillcrest Scouts.

The 33-year-old Clapham told T he Witness about the journey he is about to take.

“First and foremost, I have prayed about it a lot, the Lord God is my motivator together with the encouragement from family, friends and colleagues,” he said.

Clapham who lives Prestbury, said, “I think there is a time and place in one’s life when you take on a new challenge.”

This will be his first attempt, and he has started training for the race which is to be run on May 29 next year.

“I will not be disappointed if I do not make the finish, but I’m going to give it my very best,” said Clapham.

He will even be happy to make it halfway.

Although he never met his great-grandfather, he knows that Vic Clapham’s perseverance to get the Comrades going was challenging enough.

This, he said, has taught him that he should never give up on his dreams and ambitions.

Clapham’s sport of choice is cycling and he has participated in major races such as the Argus, Amashovashova, Time Freight and the Nando’s Cycling Challenge.

“Running is a sure way for me to keep fit while having fun and socialising”, said Clapham.

He added: “Over the years, running the ultra-marathon has often crossed my mind, but Comrades fever has finally gripped me.”

Clapham realises that his first Comrades will be a challenge, but he hopes to have a lot of fun and a success.

He said he is sticking to a healthy eating plan and a regular fitness regimen.

What he finds most attractive about “the ultimate human race” is the runners themselves and the spirit they carry with them throughout the ultra-marathon.

He says, “It is exciting because the general advice that I get from people is that the ‘up-run’ is better, but I will have to see for myself.”

I think there is a time and place in one’s life when you take on a new challenge. Antony Clapham

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