Jan Badenhorst - 15/11/2011

Jan BadenhorstI started running in January 1987 at the age of 32, after a bet in a pub with my brother in law and a friend, to do the Comrades marathon. Of the three, I was the only one at the start of Comrades 1987 and so won the bet. Since then I have started 24 Comrades marathons in a row, finishing 23 in 2010. Earning my double green number in 2007. My best comrades time was 8h53min in 1994 at age of 40, but I did not receive a Bill Rowan medal as they did not exist then. My best marathon time is 3 h 36 min.

In 25 years of road running I have finished 261 races of the marathon distance and longer. These include 23 comrades marathons (double permanent number 3245), 6 one hundred mile races including 5 Washie's (permanent number 55), also 17 Bergville to Ladysmith Ultra Marathons (double permanent number 659) , two Ironman Triathlons and the Umhlathuze marathon back to back (84,4 km) four times. Other races that I have completed are Om Die Dam Ultra Marathon, Long Tom Ultra , Korkie Ultra, Jock Of The Bushveld Ultra, Cavanaugh Ultra, Longest Day 12 hour track race and Two Oceans Ultra amongst others.

Achievements of which I am proud are being elected as Chairman of the Empangeni Athletic Club and founder Chairman of the Umhlathuze Athletic Club when we founded the club at my house on 18 September 2001. Also running comrades marathon 3 times with my wife Janice, once with my brother and on 4 other occasions all the way with close friends and the Heatonville with my wife and son. Being 1st vet in 1994 comrades for Empangeni Athletic Club and the 3rd Empangeni runner in that years Comrades. Also 1st master home in 2006 Assegai Marathon thereby matching Janice (who earned a gold medal for winning ladies team in Biggardsberg Marathon years earlier) and getting a gold medal.

Lighter moments over the years are running the Empangeni Marathon back to back with my half brother Luc who had a runny tummy. We got to the Empangeni drive inn at about 1 AM when Luc told me a pig was lying in the road that had been run over. I informed him that it was not a pig but a cane rat. When we got to the cane fields part he refused to go into the cane fields and did his bit in the middle of the road when his stomach called. Also Janice not talking to me the last 10km on a Comrades Marathon and seconding me for 80 km on a 100 miler in a sexy outfit much to the delight of the other competitors.

I can never pay back to the sport what I have received from it. I have run in every province in the country and my kids have travelled widely in SA as a result of my running. I have met hundreds of wonderful people through running. It has given me great pleasure to motivate people to start running and ending up doing Comrades and even 100 miler races. Coming to mind are the likes of Vincent Brown, Anthony Holmes, Mark Bradfield, Adri Booysen, Teddy Pillay, Paul Kennedy ,my wife Janice (and hopingly in the future my 2 sons and daughter), James Mcalister and many others.

In 2011 I missed Comrades for first time in 25 years but I am hoping to convince my current lazy traning partners to motivate me for a Comrades in the future.
I will run as long as I am able to and I thank my wonderful family who have supported me over the years.