South African Athletics

Hat-trick of Comrades wins separate legends from men

2015-05-22 09:21
Comrades amabeadibeadi PHOTO:

SINCE its humble beginnings in 1921, the Comrades Marathon roll of honour is one of sport’s holy grails. From the little known Bill Rowan, the first winner who defied belief in making the journey from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on foot in a single day, to the modern-day icons, a look at the men’s race winners makes for good reading.

There are many athletes who have won the race more than once, some even five times or more, but in the 89 years of the race only five men have managed the cherished hat-trick, three consecutive wins.

The first was Arthur “Greatheart” Newton, who won the race five times in the 1920s, notching his hat-trick from 1922 to 1924, with a fourth win in 1925. Through the years, there were other legends of the race — Hardy Ballington, Jackie Meckler, Wally Hayward — who breasted the tape five times, but never in three consecutive years.

The next hat-trick man was Dave Bagshaw who tames the course in 1969, 1970 and 1971. Hailing from England, Bagshaw dominated the race in those years and was denied a fourth straight win in 1972 when Englishman Mick Orton upset the odds with a strong run, relegating Bagshaw to second.

Not long after came the great Alan Robb, the first man to beat the 5.30 barrier when he dominated the 1978 down run. A four-time winner, his hat-trick was from 1976 to 1978. He still runs the race and will line up for his 42nd consecutive start on May 31.

The legendary Bruce For­dyce won the race nine times, putting together a string of eight consecutive wins from 1981 to 1988. His is one sporting record never to be equalled or bettered, such was his dominance, focus and precision when it came to anything Comrades.

The most recent hat-trick men’s winner is Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhingi, winner in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

It’s no mean feat winning the Comrades, but a hat-trick of wins is becoming rare indeed in the ever-changing world of the Comrades Marathon as local and international athletes strive to have their name on the cherished trophy just once, never mind three or more times


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Patriotism aside, who do you feel deserved to win the 2017 Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.