When we speak of our history as a club, we always forget to mention how it’s closely linked to our comrades beginnings. 

In 2010, after having run the 2010 inaugural Gaborone Steinmetz Marathon (now commonly known as Diacore Gaborone Marathon), our founding fathers (3 friends; Seleke Dintwe, Lere Matebesi and Jonathan Pelopedi) decided they could take on the monstrous Comrades Marathon challenge, better known as the ultimate human marathon. They indeed went ahead and researched the race and registered to run the 2011 Up run.

What is Comrades you wonder? 

The Comrades Marathon is an ultramarathon of 89 km which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon race. The direction of the race alternates each year between the "up" run (normally around 87 km) starting from Durban and the "down" run (normally around 90 km) starting from Pietermaritzburg. (Official distance varies slightly year to year)

The race is run by +20,000 entrants and the race starts at 0530hrs and ends at 1730hrs. Runners are given 12hrs to complete the race. 

There are a number of cut-off points along the routes which runners must reach by a prescribed time or be forced to retire from the race. A runner who has successfully completed ten races wears a green number, permanently allocated to the runner for all future races.

Medals are awarded to all runners completing the course in under 12 hours. Medals are currently awarded as follows:
• Gold medals: The first 10 men and women.
• Wally Hayward medals (silver-centred circled by gold ring): 11th position to sub 6hrs 00min
• Silver medals: 6hrs 00min to sub 7hrs 30min.
• Bill Rowan medals (bronze-centred circled by silver ring): 7hrs 30min to sub 9hrs 00min.
• Bronze medals: 9hrs 00min to sub 11hrs 00min.
• Vic Clapham medals (copper): 11hrs 00min to sub 12hrs 00min.

(Sources: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultramarathon
www.comrades.com)

Gaborone Striders at Comrades over the years:

As far back as 2011, Gaborone Striders has attracted members that aspire to go the distance. Comrades has over the years formed the pinnacle of our small community.

The previous years we have been represented as per below;
2011 - 3 participants 
2012 - 4 participants 
2013 - 6 participants 
2014 - 15 participants 
2015 - 22 participants 
2016 - 31 participants 
2017 - 35 participants 
2018 - 41 participants registered 

Very central to our success is a team that works behind the scenes to make the comrades journey a success that it is year on year. Comrades 2018 down run saw a Behind the scenes team of 15 passionate selfless men and women who traveled the route in support of the troops.

Our Strides will continue to leave many stories in Durban.

"Our Strides, Our Stories"

 

Published in Blog