Bruce’s Top 10 Competitors

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Bruce Fordyce lists the top Comrades runners he ever ran against, during 1977 – 1991. This list is in no particular order.

Johnny Halberstadt

Johnny Halberstadt may well have been South Africa’s greatest ever distance runner. His range included a sub 4 minute mile and a 5:45 Comrades Marathon. He won every major SA road race at least once and every SA road title. His two second places in the Comrades did not do justice to his immense talent but for 3 years, from 1979 -1981 he terrified all of us and was always a major contender to win.

Alan Robb

Alan’s record speaks for itself: 4 wins, 12 gold medals. He was particularly lethal on the down run.

Hosea Tjale

With the exception of the Comrades, “Hoss” won every major South African ultra and the London to Brighton. He came desperately close to winning on a couple of occasions and earned 9 gold medals.

Bob de la Motte

Bob de la Motte truly believed he would win the Comrades. While other contenders hoped to win, Bob knew he would. When he didn’t, he came back the following year twice as determined. In 1986 he broke the Comrades record and still did not win. He was the most ferociously determined athlete I ever met.

Mark Page

One of the most talented runners to run the Comrades, Mark might well have won the 1992 Comrades had he not been struck by really bad cramps on the descent to Little Pollys.

Nick Bester

Nick has been the toughest runner ever to run the Comrades and probably the most talented all round sportsman. In addition to his 1991 Comrades win, he was an Ironman champion, Dusi gold medallist and mountain bike champion. It should come as no surprise to those who know Nick to learn that he was a parabat soldier.

Piet Vorster

It took Piet 7 years to win the Comrades but he did and with a record and against a stellar field.

Shaun Meiklejohn

It took Shaun even longer (13 years) to win. But all of his 22 medals are silver or gold. And in 2010 he ran a 6:45. Say no more

Frith Van der Merwe

Luckily I didn’t run the 1989 Comrades or Frith Van der Merwe would probably have given me a hiding. Arguably the best runner the Comrades has ever seen and the equal of most elite male runners.

Wally Hayward

The argument would be between Wally and Frith about who is the greatest runner. But in 1988 Wally annihilated us all in the up Comrades in a computerised handicap race. He was 3 weeks shy of his 80th birthday

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4 Responses to Bruce’s Top 10 Competitors

  1. Gavin May 17, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    What about Stuart Peacock? – Pridwin teacher of mine in the 80′s – came 11th one year I recall.

    • ian May 28, 2013 at 2:52 am #

      @gavin Peacock was such a complete bastard though

  2. Bianca June 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    Boysie van staden. Under rated. Came so close and always consistent

  3. john April 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    I am trying to establish name of south African sportsman (rugby, boxing, etc) believe he was wounded in First World War and took up dancing to get fit again, and won a dancing medal at Olympic Games —- very versatile sportsman

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