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