‘In this race there are only determined humans’

Roshni Pillay

Roshni Pillay

Published Jun 7, 2024


ROSHNI Pillay is set to compete in her 10th Comrades Marathon.

Pillay, 52, of Phoenix, a housewife, said: “I joined the Woodview Athletic Club in early 2000 to keep fit and destress.

“Not long thereafter, I discovered my love for running and took on longer-distance races.

“My first Comrades run was in 2010 from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. I completed the race under the 12-hour cut-off, which was both a phenomenal and emotional experience.

“The experience year after year is beyond words and that is all thanks to the amazing support given to us along the way by complete strangers on the sidelines, and to fellow athletes running alongside us. In this race there are no men and women, only determined humans,” said Pillay.

There was no particular plan that she followed, she said.

“All I do is keep consistent with my training and participate in multiple marathons and ultra-marathons leading up to the Comrades. I eat all the same meals that I normally would. My diet does not change."

Since her first Comrades Marathon in 2010, Pillay competed in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022 and 2023, to make her 2024 run her 10th event. Her goal is to cross the finish line within the 12 hour cut-off.

“This goal is important to me, as it is my 10th Comrades and completing this one means I get my green number, which is a number awarded to runners who reach a milestone of 10 marathons. This number will permanently belong to that runner.”

Pillay has run many marathons in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. Some of these included the Two Oceans Marathon and the Sanlam Marathon.

She said the support she received from family and friends was overwhelming.

“They support me every step of the way, from early morning training runs to coming out along the route during the Comrades, and, of course, my recovery period afterwards,” said Pillay.