RSA (Pre-1994): Comrades Marathon Special Gold Award

RSA (Pre-1994): Comrades Marathon Special Gold AwardRSA (Pre-1994): Comrades Marathon Special Gold Award
Form: Circular
By: Obverse after E.G. Kerby and Co, Jewellers of Pietermaritzburg / South African Mint
Date: 1989-1990
Ref:  Laidlaw: 0067c;
32.4 mmGold (22ct)34.0 gm$2,000

Edge: Plain.

Obverse: Figure of Mercury/Hermes with winged helmet and feet carrying a caduceus and running to the left. On a raised and roughened band legend above: “COMRADES MARATHON” and below between stars: “DURBAN – MARITZBURG”.

Reverse: A laurel wreath tied at the foot within which space for engraving. At the top: "1 OZ FINE GOLD" and stamped at the foot: "(springbok head) G916 Q(for 1990) S.A.M".

Notes: Instituted in 1921, the Comrades Marathon is the world’s largest and oldest ultra marathon road race attracting over 20,000 runners. It is run annually between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, a distance of about 90 km. The direction of the race alternates each year. The gold medal is awarded to the first 10 men and the first 10 women; the silver medal to those who finish in under 7hrs 30min; the bronze medal to those who finish in less than 11 hours. In recent years new medals have been introduced and the metal quality downgraded.

This medal has the same specifications as the gold Krugerrand. It is a special award and not the same as the gold runner's award for finishing in the first ten. It comes in a square maroon fitted cased lined on the inside with white silk-like material and maroon velvet-like material. On the inside of the lid: "COMRADES /1989 / CM (logo) / (indistinct)". The Comrades in 1989 was a down-run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban and was won by Sam Tshabalala. The medal was presented to a well known Natal runner and he was certainly entitled the gold runner's medal in 1989. The author knows to whom this medal was presented but the person asks to remain anonymous.