The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is saddened by news of the death of former Comrades Marathon Gold Medallist, Charlie Chase. Chase was 90 years old and ran for Germiston Callies Harriers throughout his running career.
He ran his first Comrades in 1953 and achieved his personal best in the 1965 Down Run in a time of 6:19:24. He completed The Ultimate Human Race 28 times, with 4 Gold, 16 Silver and 8 Bronze medals to his name.
Chase has been described as a very well-known runner who took many novices under his wing, trained them in the art of long distance running; and motivated and inspired many other athletes.
Chase was a proud member of the Comrades Marathon Green Number Club, having been inducted onto the Green Number Roll of Honour in 1966. Chase earned eight Top 10 positions in the Comrades Marathon in an era when only the Top 6 were awarded gold medals.
CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn says, “Mr Chase was one of those ever popular athletes who made his mark on the Comrades Marathon. His running record speaks for itself. He inspired many runners to participate in the Comrades and personally helped train and motivate them to achieve their Comrades medal. He will be greatly missed by many.”
Former Comrades Marathon Winner, Tommy Malone tells us that Charlie loved running and loved life. Malone says, “Comrades and the running fraternity have lost one of the sport's great characters. Charlie was a faithful member of Germiston Callies for many years. He ran all road race distances as well as cross country in the winter. While not the fastest of athletes over the shorter distances, he would always catch the over ambitious runners towards the end of a race.”
Malone adds, “As the archives show, he had a fabulous Comrades record and was always available for advice. Before my first Comrades I was very nervous and was looking for guidance and asked Charlie what I should eat the night before the race. "A big steak and a few beers," was the reply. I chose to ignore it. RIP Charlie thank you for many great memories and for all the beers we shared.”
Comrades runner, Leon van Wyk says, “Many athletes will remember Charlie Chase as being one of those much loved and very popular Comrades runners. He was a selfless and kind individual who put other people first and made it his life mission to inspire and motivate runners to give of their best. We will miss him.”
A Wake for Mr Chase will be held on Friday, 6th July at 14h00 at Sheena’s Pub Upstairs - 4299 Knoppiesdoring Street, Corner Beyers Naude Drive, near Lone Wolf Spur, Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg, 2169