Colin Thomas about to tackle his 25th consecutive Kosmos 3-in-1
March 3, 2017  
the only runner to reach this milestone. (this is the 25th event, meaning that he has run them all…..). We spoke to him to find out what makes him tick.

Editor: How long have you been “a runner”?

Colin: I started running during April 1983 in and around

Secunda, with some runs via Evander to Trichardt until the

water point at the old station reservoirs was shut-off.

Ed: How and why did you start running?

Colin: I realised that my bad habit of being a smoker needed

to be addressed which led me to running and reduced my daily

number of cigarettes. In 1987 I eventually stopped smoking

after going on my knees and asking the Good Lord to give me

strength to kick the habit. It worked like throwing a switch!!

Ed: What was your first race and finish time?

Colin: My first race was the Sakekamer 25km on 27 August

1988 which was run from Evander to Secunda to finish at the

newly built stadium. My time was 2:29:27 running in North

Stars and I had extremely sore feet thereafter.

Ed: What do you rate as your best running achievement?

Colin: Undoubtedly my 24th Kosmos 3-in-1 run, taking into

account that I had my prostate removed on 12 January 2016

and with only Parkruns that I walked after 6 weeks as

training. I managed the cut-offs with the Good Lord’s help.

Ed: What was your biggest running disappointment?

Colin: My Volksrust Marathon that I ran on 22 January 2011

after having had bronchitis and finished in 5:03:35 missing

the 5 hour cut-off!

Ed: You are about to run your 25th consecutive Kosmos 3-in-1

race. What makes this race so special for you?

Colin: The Kosmos 3-in-1 came about through the collective

efforts of Trichardt Triathlon Club, Secunda Marathon Club

and Sasol Marathon Club sharing a vision to hold this unique

race of which I part thereof, and assisted, marketed and

strove to make it an event that runners wanted to participate

in. The aim was to give runner the opportunity to see how

well they were prepared for the coming Comrades.

The race originally started in Trichardt, the moved to

Evander, then Sasol Club and now has its home at Lake Umuzi.

One achievement that I attained was a silver medal in the

Marathon as a Master in the Mpumalanga Championships that


Ed: So this year is your 25th Kosmos 3-in-1. What advice can

you give to novice runners? How should they approach this one

of a kind race?

Colin: One needs well in excess of 200km to run a

comfortable Kosmos. The more km’s, the easier it is and each

race should not be raced, but be well paced, as it is a day of

running and to miss a 21.1 or 10 km because one pushed too

hard on the marathon is not a wise decision.

With sufficient hydration on the day and light snacks

between the runs, one will not be to heavy and uncomfortable

starting the next run. Clean kit, dry shoes and socks for each

race will help to make it easier to focus on the run.

Ed: What was your “most embarrassing running moment”?

Colin: I ran the Elandsvallei Marathon on 13 April 2013 and

developed runners tummy and stopped to address the problem

amongst an outcrop of rocks well off the route, to only be

joined by a female runner with the same problem. We shared


Ed: What was your most interesting/ exotic/ unusual/

extreme race?

Colin: I have run two Voet of Africa marathons starting at

Elim and going over the mountain to Napier and then back to

Bredasdorp. The start was on a farm road until one turned to

run the mountain up a 4X4 brush track till over the top and

the sand road to Napier with tar back to Bredasdorp. Today

you run on tar out to Arniston and back. The Karoo 80 also

was a special race, and Ian Botha can vouch for that as he

also has a permanent number. These were then a real

experience and being far out, a must to do.

Ed: What races are still on your bucket list? Why did you

choose these?

Colin: Om die Dam and Two Oceans 56km are the must do’s. I

am doing my 8th Om die Dam this year and have to attain my

permanent number plus one. As for Oceans I have to do one in

the Blue and then continue to support my son as he builds to

his Blue number.

Ed: What are your favourite running quotes that you use to

motivate yourself?

Colin: As I tell others the Good Lord told me to pick up my

legs and He will put them down! I also plan my running yearly

in December and focus each month on what I am doing,

WHAT I AM DOING, affirmation, and stay positive about

that which lies ahead. I keep positive company and motivate

those that are uncertain so that they can do their best and

enjoy it.

Ed: What do you do when you’re not running?

Colin: If not running I am busy doing the lawn, trimming

trees, servicing the car and my real get out is to ride my

motorbike and experience that freedom! Furthermore I

collect stamps and coins and enjoy sharing with others my


Ed: Thanks for the interview, and everything of the best for

this year’s Kosmos 3-in-1!

Colin: My pleasure!