Farewell to a legend

2016-03-02 06:00

THE Comrades Marathon Association has expressed sadness following the death last Tuesday of Comrades green number runner and silver medallist Chet Sainsbury. He was 73 years old.

Chet was race director of the Two Oceans Marathon for 27 years. He also served as a director on the board of the Two Oceans Marathon NPC as well as holding numerous positions within the road running fraternity, including serving on the SA Road Running Commission, vice-chair of Western Province Athletics and chairperson of Western Province Road Running and Celtic Harriers Club.

Chet was an ardent Comrades supporter and respected green-number runner. He completed The Ultimate Human Race 14 times between 1978 and 1991, with his final Comrades being run in 2000, being the 75th commemorative edition of the race. His Comrades achievements include 11 silver, one Bill Rowan and tow bronze medals.

CMA chairperson, Macdonald Chitja says: “Chet was an amazing runner. His achievements at the Two Oceans Marathon, let alone the Comrades, speaks for itself. He contributed immensely to road running and the running fraternity is certainly poorer with his loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones. We will miss him.”

CMA vice-chair Cheryl Winn says: “Chet was a legend in road running. His name is synonymous with the Two Oceans Marathon, Western Province Athletics and South African distance running. He was strongly principled, incredibly energetic, organised and methodical to the extreme.”

Winn reflects on one of Chet’s defining Comrades moments.

“One of my most profound memories of Chet was in the 1989 Comrades Marathon in which he fell within a kilometre of the start, crashing his elbow into a kerb, strapped it to his chest and ran through 90km of discomfort and increasing agony, to earn his eighth silver medal.

“After flying back to Cape Town and spending a sleepless night in excruciating pain, the next morning he was diagnosed with a fractured elbow.

“He was incredibly tough, determined and forthright, with a unique sense of humour and an uncompromising sense of right and wrong.

“My husband Mick and I consider ourselves privileged to have called him a respected colleague and very dear friend. Our hearts go to his beloved wife and partner in life, Annemarie.”

— Supplied.

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