On 15 October 2016, The Old Mutual South Africa hosted the annual Spirit of Comrades Awards Gala Dinner in Durban, honouring special recipients of the 2016 Comrades Marathon; the world’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon at approximately 88km between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The Old Mutual Spirit of Comrades Awards celebrates three awesome individuals annually for their very human attributes of selflessness, dedication, perseverance and Ubuntu; combined with their love for The Ultimate Human Race. The award winners are chosen based on their participation in the Comrades Marathon whether as athletes, legends, dedicated volunteers or extraordinary supporters.
Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) Chairperson Macdonald Chitja says, “This is our flagship awards gala where we honour our 2015 6 winners as well as three significant and deserving individuals who show the world what the true spirit of the Comrades Marathon is all about. Through this special awards ceremony, we call on every Comrades Marathon runner and South African to share in the enduring and timeless values associated with The Ultimate Human Race.”
This year’s recipients of the Spirit of Comrades Awards are:
Dr Shoyab Wadee – Dr Wadee missed his third place finish when he rendered emergency medical intervention and assisted another runner and fortified his own finish demonstrating true bravery.
Rupin Metha– Mr Metha missed his fifth consecutive finish by 21 seconds as he selflessly assisted two other runners.
Amit B Sheth – Mr Sheth is the first Indian national to have run a Comrades. His book “Dare to Run” is also a bestseller and he brought 100 runners from India to run Comrades this year.
The awards evening also honoured the male and female Comrades champions David Gatebe and Charne Bosman who are both true embodiments of overcoming obstacles, perseverance and dedication – proving that remaining focused and committed is the recipe for achieving greatness, even in the face of adversity and discouragement.
Both are inspirational South Africans who made the whole country proud as we claimed both top spots!
For the second year in a row, Carel Nolte received the CMA Top Charity Fundraiser Of The Year Award for the most funds raised during the 2016 Comrades Charity Drive, reaching R170 000. Carel threw his support behind the PinkDrive, a breast cancer educational and fundraising NGO and partners and friends of CN&CO as he took part in the 2015 and 2016 Comrades Marathon. A truly great achievement honouring a profound contribution to The Ultimate Human Race.
Says Carel: “I have a deep respect for every person who takes part in the Comrades. This race demonstrates for me the very best of humanity and fills me with immense pride at being a South African. From the obvious ‘wow’ moments like singing our national anthem at the start and crossing the finishing line, to the more unexpected special moments (there are hundreds during the day and range from strangers singing to you, giving you food, having your name called out, helping other runners, enjoying the scenery), the Comrades creates special memories. Raising money for charity whilst having immense fun for thousands of people is a great gift. Thank you to the Comrades team!”
Journalist of the year Khanyiso Tshwaku from the Times Media Group was honoured for having written the most articles of the Comrades.
The folk from Event Styling and the Comrades team put on a superb event. Apart from amazing catering and entertainment, the top notch music and Golden Boys were a huge hit. In fact, Bronwyn Freemantle and other Comrades ladies were seen to be “going for gold …”
Continues Carel, “One cannot help but be in awe of the Comrades team who work so hard to support all the runners. And they do it with smiles and real camaraderie.
“A highlight for me was to spend time with my mate Anthony Clapham, great grandson of the founder of Comrades Marathon and a Red Sock supporter like me! Anthony and I ran together in my second Comrades and he remains a legend!”
CN&CO would like to congratulate all the winners of the 2016 Old Mutual South Africa Spirit of Comrades Awards Winners and we look forward to seeing you all on the road!
Comrades spirit on show at awards gala – The New Age (Western Cape)