Thursday, 05 June 2014 14:08

It was a Mile of Community Magic at the 2014 Comrades Nedbank Green Mile

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2014 Comrades #NedbankGreenMile

The athletes competing in the 2014 Comrades Marathon will never forget the Nedbank Green Mile. The thumping music and booming voice of the announcer could be heard from 4kms away, urging runners to push on.

With 26km still to run the legs are sore and cramping, the pace is off and difficult to maintain. It’s then that the body wants to quit and brain is close to joining it! This is the moment the Nedbank Green Mile was built for – to help make the Ultimate Human Race happen.

The large percussion band got runners running to the beat; then a Scottish Pipe band marching on both sides of the street consisting of pipes and drummers playing marches, slow airs, up-tempo jigs and reels, got the legs pumping.

This magnificent ‘green’ community spectator zone was themed “Rock & Roll” and was free to all supporters, and set an electrifying atmosphere for over a mile in length producing an important uplifting boost to runners. Approaching the roundabout to Kloof Village was a massive South African flag ever to remind runners that they were home and this was Comrades 2014.

From giant puppets giving high-fives to ‘giant heads’ running alongside tired athletes, sore legs became light legs as the monotony wore off as if a transfer of ‘Green’ human energy had taken place. Such is the life within the Nedbank Green Mile where magic happened all day long.

But best of all was the unforgettable support from hundreds of locals camped along the mile for the full six hours cheering runners on, reminding them that not only were they brave but that this was their day and the Nedbank Green Mile was theirs to own and every person and entertainer was there to remind them that they could do it!

The Green Mile wasn’t Nedbank’s only contribution on the day. The Nedbank Running Club (NRC) dominated the 2014 Comrades Marathon with the club securing seven of the 20 gold medals on offer. The impressive medal haul included a spectacular men’s first and second as well as the woman’s first place finisher. The accolades didn’t end there – the NRC produced the first South African woman finisher in Caroline Wostmann who finished in sixth place as well as the first KZN born man and woman.

Published in Sports Range

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