Running alone: The autobiography of long-distance legend Jackie Mekler

An inspiring autobiography in which Jackie provides unique insights into the challenges that arose in many of the local and international races in which he competed, quoting media reports to provide independent opinions. Much of the where, how, and why in this work is taken directly from the detailed diaries he has maintained throughout his running career.

During his many years as a long-distance runner, Jackie competed in 403 races of under standard marathon distance; 41 standard marathons (won 14) in South Africa, Canada (Empire Games), England, Scotland, Greece and Finland; and 32 ultra marathons (won 13, including Comrades, Pieter Korkie and London to Brighton). He set new records in many of these events. Jackie also set world records on the track for 30, 40 and 50 miles running against the clock.

His narrative adds substantial value to the broad long-distance run­ning community, from those runners taking their first tentative steps on the road, to middle-of-the-field competitors and elite athletes at the pinnacle of their game. 

Running Alone is Jackie’s magnum opus. It was 45 years in the making.



5 in stock (can be backordered)

Book Details

Weight 550 g
Dimensions 23 × 15 × 3 cm



Quickfox Publishing

About The Author

Jackie Mekler

Jackie Mekler

Running Alone is the unique life story of legendary South African long-distance runner Jackie Mekler. Heart-wrenching in parts, Jackie’s story unfolds to reveal a man imbibed with a fiercely competitive spirit that carried him through the often harsh experiences in an era when the first glimmerings of medical and scientific advances in the sport were emerging. That indomitable spirit coupled with his passion for running saw Jackie win five of the eleven 90km Comrades Marathons in which he competed.

Unbeknown to him at the time, his self-taught ability to focus his mind on the end result was a discipline that today is recognised as visuali­sation, a powerful tool used by leading coaches and sportsmen and women internationally. A man who loves his privacy, he nevertheless has the ability to share a host of amusing anecdotes covering his early life, his experiences in the print industry that ended in heartbreak, and his escape to the country where he and his family enjoyed a bucolic lifestyle on his farm aptly named Camperdown.


Professor Tim Noakes, world-renowned sports scientist
‘Jackie’s book is an inspiring story of triumph over unusual adversity. It is written with the same integrity and honesty that defined his running. His story is a moving testimony of how to achieve the well-lived life. Without regrets.’

Professor John Gear
If you’re a runner, you will immediately admire the tenacity, determination and energy that Jack poured into becoming the best of the best. This despite setbacks and disappointments that would have crushed ordinary mortals.

Mick Winn, former Chairman, Comrades Marathon Association
From adversity to greatness: the inspiring true life story of a Comrades Marathon gentleman, legend, five-times champion and friend.

Bruce Fordyce, winner of nine Comrades Marathons
Jackie’s story is an absolute must for every serious marathon runner. His is a story worth telling. I enjoyed every page.’

Tommy Malone, former Comrades Marathon winner
A wonderful life story which had to be told for the sake of South African sport in general and SA road running in particular.’

Bob de la Motte, Comrades gold medallist (5:26)
Jackie’s story is an integral part of the legacy of South African distance running and an invaluable golden thread in the rich tapestry of the Comrades Marathon

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