Charné Bosman (Nedbank Running Club) might not have won the Comrades ultra-race but by finishing third she has achieved something very few athletes have managed to do. That is to finish first, second and third in consecutive races.
In 2015 she was second, last year she won and now she finished third. Apparently only three other female athletes ever managed to do so in the history of the Comrades.
Bosman who is also supported by the High Performance Centre (hpc) had mixed feelings with the way he race played out.
“I actually knew I was in for a hard slog when I woke up. You get those days when you just know that you don’t have good racing legs but there is nothing you can do about it.
“Things got worse early on during the race when I felt a severe pain shoot through my leg with each step I took. I am not quite sure as to what caused it. Maybe it was a pinched nerve in my back. At one stage I was in so much agony that for a moment or two I contemplated to quit. If it was not for the fantastic supporters along the road I might have just done that, but I did not want to disappoint my fans and I am glad I did not as I certainly would have regretted it. I have spent a whole year preparing for Comrades. The only solution was to take a pain pill and keep on going.
“Going up Polly Shorts was tough. I cannot remember it ever feeling like such a long never ending uphill slog. Once I got to the top I decided that is it I am going to run those last few kilometres as fast as I can. It is difficult to describe the relieve I felt the moment I crossed the finish line.”
Next year Bosman turns 42 but it does not mean that she is going to relinquish her Comrades aspirations. She firmly believe that she has got at least one more good Comrades left in her legs.
“I guess I will never really quit running Comrades as it has become so much part of my life. Only when my body starts to totally rebel is when I will consider stopping.”
The Nedbank Running Club athletes certainly made their presence felt at Comrades with no less of five top ten finishes in the men’s as well as the women’s race.
The top finishers in the men’s race were: 2. Haliwande Nyamande (Zimbabwe) 5:38:45; 4. Ludwick Mamabola 5:42:41; 6. Siphiwe Ndlela 5:45:57; 9. Steve Way (Britain) 5:49:40; 10. Fritjol Fagerland (Sweden) 5:49:54.
The top finishers in the women’s race were: 1. Camille Herron (USA) 6:27:35; 3. Charné Bosman 6:39:51; 4. Gerda Steyn 6:45:45; 5. Jasmin Nunige (Switzerland) 6:46:21; Sarah Bard (USA) 6:49:30.