RECOGNISABLE for her blonde ponytails on the Comrades Marathon course, Tilda Tearle, this year lines up for her 30th race. Incredibly, the local resident and former winner ran her first Comrades in 1984.
“This will be the second time I line up to do my 30th. Last year I was badly injured, couldn’t run for a month leading up to Comrades but still went to the start with a bit of hope. I got to the 70km mark in Pinetown and had to leave the road. This year I am not injured and my training has gone well. I am excited but also just want it to be over,” she said.
Tearle who has been a member of the Savages Running Club since 1983 said her pigtails were always part of the big race routine.
“I have always run with pigtails, since 1983. I had longer hair then and one pony tail swished too much on my back. The habit has stuck,” she laughed.
The local resident has also had an impressive record when it comes to Comrades medals.
“I have actually finished in the top 10, ten times which should really mean that I have 10 golds. In my early days of running they only gave the first three ladies gold, then the first five and eventually the first 10. I also missed out on some Bill Rowans which were not ‘in’ when I ran those times. So officially I have: three golds, seven silvers, 13 bronzes, one Bill Rowan and five Vic Claphams,” she said.