A book to inspire


From a handful of runners who finished the race more than century ago, the Comrades Marathon has grown to be the world’s greatest ultra-marathon.

Tom Cottrell – well known for his Nedbank Runners’ Guide to Road Races in South Africa, and who has for 30 years been part of this race as a competitor, spectator and backroom TV broadcast support, has just launched Comrades Marathon – 101 Years of Highlights and Heroes … a fascinating story which tells the tale of its glories, its disappointments, its triumphs and tragedies.

Beginning with the early heroes, then covering the 1970s, when official permission was finally granted for women and people of colour to run, the 1980s and nine-time winner Bruce Fordyce, democratic South Africa in the 1990s, to the domination of the Russians in the early 2000s, and the ascent of black runners in the 2010s.

It brings us right up to date with the last race run, in 2022, following the two-year closure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. A superb read – and a lot of inspiration for those who need a push to get out there and run. Guide Book Publishers, R340