1995 COMRADES WINNER RUNS THE HOPE CHALLENGE
He’s been one of those consistent Comrades Marathon athletes with a three-decade long affair with The Ultimate Human Race. He holds 10 Gold and 20 Silver medals to his name, a feat few if any, can lay claim to.
More than that, he also won the world’s biggest, oldest and most famous ultramarathon in the year that prize money was introduced.
Shaun Meiklejohn (#6845), who lives in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and is a long-standing ambassador for Save Orion Running Club, ran his first Comrades in 1982 at the age of 20 and was inducted onto the Comrades Green Number Roll of Honour in 1991.
It was in 2019 that Meiklejohn achieved his Triple Green Number status, which was also when the last traditional Comrades Marathon was hosted before the onset of Covid-19 and the subsequent cancellation of mass participation events worldwide.
Meiklejohn said running last year’s inaugural virtual event, Race the Comrades Legends was an absolute must, and he once again had to be part of this year’s Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge, as a way of giving back to the race which gave him so much.
Meiklejohn said, “Winning the Comrades Marathon in 1995 was a dream come true. I remember that day so well. It was surreal but the ultimate realization came when I was handed the baton as I entered the stadium and it dawned on me that I was approaching the finish line as the Comrades winner. The prize money was not even on my mind.”
“The fact is that people would not know who Shaun Meiklejohn is had it not been for me winning the Comrades Marathon. Comrades has truly given me so much! The race may be cancelled for the second year in a row but at least we have the virtual event which we can participate in and still live out the Comrades spirit.”
On his participation in the 1921 Comrades Tribute Run to mark the Comrades Centenary on 24 May, Mieklejohn said, “It was incredible to join so many Comrades champions in the 2.2km run. I don’t think there could have been a more fitting celebration for the Comrades Centenary. What a milestone for the Comrades Marathon Association.”
“The history and traditions that form part of this ultimate human race are nothing short of phenomenal. Runners come and go, winners come and go but the race remains. It is the absolute greatest and we all have our part to carry it forward!”
Meiklejohn added, “Comrades is incredibly special to so many people, including my own friends and family. My children, Luke, Kate and Stuart have a very special bond with the Comrades and I am certain that they will run it one day.”
“The Comrades Marathon reinforces the values we all hold dear, whether you are a competitive or social runner. The things that are important to us as a person, as a family, as a professional resonates strongly with what we learn from The Ultimate Human Race. No matter where you are in life, on the road, at home or at work, you get to live out what Comrades teaches you.”
“It is really important that we continue to have hope, especially since the onset of Covid-19 and when you see how many lives have been disrupted by the pandemic. We have a lot to be grateful for and that is one reason why we all need to do our bit to keep the hope alive.”