Runner robbed of his shoes at gunpoint, continues barefoot

2008-06-15 00:00

A male athlete was caught with his pants down (literally) by robbers who forced him to surrender his pair of Nike sneakers.

Paulus Elephant ventured off the Comrades route to relieve himself in a bush in Fields Hill.

The robbers sneaked up on him, held a gun to his head and demanded that he take of his shoes and hand them over. Police recovered his shoes shortly after, and Elephant, who had continued the race barefoot, managed to carry on and complete the marathon.

Ken Gurr from Comrades Disaster Management (CDM) confirmed that two others, an athlete and a spectator, were victims of similar crimes earlier on in the race.

A female spectator was held at gunpoint for her car keys. However, her the robbers couldn’t steal her car because they were unable to make a getaway.

Another runner was pulled off the route by robbers, dragged into a bush, assaulted and had his shoes stolen. He was too shaken to complete the race.

“A good pair of running shoes can cost thousands of rands, but still, that is no excuse for such sick and cruel behaviour,” said another member of CDM.

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