Stories from The Comrades Marathon
The Comrades Marathon is not just a race - it is a test of endurance, determination and the human spirit. Every year, thousands of runners from all corners of the globe gather in South Africa to take on this grueling challenge. The race, which stretches over 89 kilometers, is not for the faint-hearted.
The 2023 Comrades Marathon left many people feeling like they were running on clouds, but not everyone made it to this epic marathon’s finish line. This annual ultra-marathon is a huge challenge for the runners who undertake it, and in our book, anyone brave enough to take it on, is a "winner".
We caught up with some of On’s runners who took the leap to do this prestigious ultra-marathon in June 2023. These are their stories.
Channelle van Wyk spent months preparing for The Comrades Marathon. She describes her most exciting Comrades moments as the anticipation of the race, getting up at the ungodly hour of 2am and putting on her gear as she readied for the challenge.
Despite all her hard work in getting ready for The Comrades, Channelle sustained an injury 11kms into the race. By 24kms, she knew she had to quit. This heart-breaking decision wasn’t an easy one for her to make, but she had to put her health first.
Thulani Sotobe is on clouds after his Comrade’s triumph. He describes the race as different from that of 2022, as the challenge he faced was the narrower roads that runners had to travel for this year’s race.
He does, however, say he thoroughly enjoyed his race. He wore On cloud shoes, specifically, the Cloudstratus performance shoes, crediting them for taking him all the way. His pair of Cloudstratus helped him to avoid blisters and chafing on his feet. He advises all future runners to set realistic goals when planning to run The Comrades.
Loyiso Moumakoe did her 16th Comrades Marathon this year! As a veteran of the race, she had a good idea of what to expect – especially while running in On cloud shoes. The race, she says, went incredibly well for her.
Loyiso finished in 11 hours and 8 minutes, beating her estimated time of 12 hours. Loyiso was no doubt overjoyed with her achievement – and so are we!
Charlton Dollie had some mixed feelings about his Comrades race. While he didn’t meet the target time he set for himself when it came to finishing time, he did complete the event. He found Field’s Hill the most challenging part of the race and experienced muscle cramps and stomach issues during his run. However, he loved the rest of the Comrades - especially feeling the vibe from the crowd of spectators who cheered him on.
Charlton felt he had to push himself mentally to complete the race, but he got an extra lift and bounce from his On Cloudstratus performance shoes which provided the cushioning he needed.
We salute all the runners who took the challenge of The Comrades Marathon in 2023 and turned it into running on clouds. We know how grueling the race is and we congratulate each and every finisher on their achievement. You are all champions in our eyes.