‘Young and fit’ Burgess (80) ready for 18th Comrades

2019-06-05 14:57
Alf Burgess will be the oldest Comrades Marathon runner on Sunday.PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Alf Burgess will be the oldest Comrades Marathon runner on Sunday.PHOTO: FACEBOOK

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Age is just a number for this year’s oldest Comrades Marathon runner, Alf Burgess, who turned 80 years old two weeks ago.

Burgess, who is from Kloof but now lives at a retirement village in Eston, says running keeps him “young and fit”.

Last year Burgess was the oldest athlete to cross the Comrades Marathon finish line and aims to do the same at this year’s race, which takes place on Sunday. This is despite the promise he once made to his wife, June, that he would stop running the Comrades.

“I told my wife 18 years ago that I would not do the race again, but I just had to come back,” the veteran runner’s said.

After running with a couple of friends who were training for the marathon last year, Burgess said he realised that he was still very fit and capable of running the Ultimate Human Race and could not resist the challenge again this year.

Burgess’ interest in running started in 1952 when he was just 13 years old.

He ran his first Comrades race in 1967 as 28-year-old and on Sunday he will be running his 18th Comrades.

He said he enjoys the down run, but admitted that he is a half-marathon runner at heart.

“I think the Comrades Marathon is way too far for me, it’s a mountain and you just have to climb it,” he laughed.

Burgess, who still works as an industrial real estate agent, said he was extremely excited about race day and hoped that his hard training paid off.

He added that he wants to cross the finish line before 11 hours is up, unlike last year where he finished with just a minute-and-a-half to spare

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  comrades marathon

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