As the time gets closer for the 2012 Comrades Marathon, the cycle leg of the Unogwaja challenge almost reaches its end, when the team reaches Pietermaritzburg after a gruelling ride from Cape Town, which started almost 11 days ago.
They will spend Friday and Saturday night in Pietermaritzburg at Guy and Di Smith’s home. Nineteen people in total – which includes the support team. On Sunday they will set off again, on foot this time to run the Comrades down to Durban. The cock will crow on Sunday at 5.30 for the runners to set off down the treacherous hills for the 89 km ultra-marathon.
So why do they do it?
“ This 10 day cycle from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg to run the Comrades Marathon on day 11 is a journey of the heart, inspired by the life of Phil Masterton-Smith, who couldn’t afford the train fare from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg in 1933 – so he cycled up instead and finished 10th in the race. He died in World War Two in 1942. His nickname was “Unogwaja” meaning hare in Zulu and his legacy lives on in the Unogwaja Challenge. Wherever you go, go with your heart” says redsocker John McInroy.
The incredible synchronicity is that Di and Guy Smith’s home was built in the same year as Phil Masterton-Smiths epic cycle and run in 1933.
Visit the Unogwaja website and donate to the charities they support. Look out for the Redsockers and cheer them on if you are on the road. If not, then look out for the Redsockers on the telly – Comrades Marathon!