An insider’s view of the oldest and biggest ultra marathon in the world against the backdrop of politics in 1980s South Africa; the Chicken Run to Australia; being sued for $1 billion; and a hectic life on four continents.
Bob de la Motte is an experienced ultramarathon runner, cyclist, mountain-biker and Ironman competitor. He was born in South Africa where he attended Wits University and worked for KPMG. His career as a chartered accountant and investment banker has taken him to London, the USA and ultimately to Australia where he has lived since 1987. Since retiring from his business career in 2009, Bob travels extensively and continues to pursue his sporting interests all over the world. He has been a frequent visitor to South Africa since the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
With a foreword by Jackie Mekler (five times Comrades Marathon winner)
It is the world’s oldest and most famous ultramarathon. South Africa’s Comrades Marathon has teased, tormented and tortured runners from all over the world since 1921. Those who have endured it say it changes lives, speaks to the soul and turns the ordinary into extraordinary. According to many, it is liberating.
Bob de la Motte should know. Winner of five Comrades medals, including three golds, his grit and determination during several epic duels with nine time winner Bruce Fordyce enthralled the world throughout what was arguably the marathon’s defining passage in the politically charged 1980s.
In this extraordinary, compassionate, candid, humorous and captivating personal memoir, Bob explains his fascination and passion for the most famous ultramarathon in the world and recounts the truth behind the hyped up rivalry. He explores allegations of cheating and blood doping, highlights the hypocrisy in South African and international sport and elaborates on his decision to join the Chicken Run to Australia. He also provides fascinating perspectives on international politics and business on four continents and gives a crystal ball insight into the future of the Comrades Marathon.