Wietsie van der Westhuizen has participated in 40 consecutive Comrades Marathons

Wietsie van der Westhuizen's love for running started when he was a student at Potchefstroom University in Free State, and he has since participated in 40 consecutive Comrade Marathons. He was invited to run the Two Oceans Marathon by a friend, and this lead to his first Comrades. "At the end of the Two Oceans Marathon, they handed out pamphlets on the Comrades, and I decided to do the Comrades. So at the age of 19, I ran my first Comrades — and I have not stopped yet," the 60-year-old said. He says running is a great sport, because it unites people.   "Anybody can run; you don't have to be a built person, you can be overweight, you can be skinny. Running is for the average person, and I love the spirit of running. Runners do not see color; they're just comrades, like a family," he said. Van der Westhuizen will be running his 41st consecutive Comrades Marathon is a family affair. "My two daughters are running, my son-in-law is running, my brother are running..."

posted Wednesday May 30th