I won my first race when I was about four years old. My mum still has the photograph, which you can see above. My white-blond hair stood out alongside the Malays, Indians, Chinese and Gurkhas with whom I went to school. Little was I to know that my hair would be a Comrades trademark decades later.
While I was at school, I carried on running and continued to be one of the best athletes on sports days. But then I went to university and simply stopped. After watching a TV programme on the 1976 Comrades, I started running again. My first run was 10 minutes around the Wits University rugby field at night (because I didn't want anyone to see me). I coughed and spluttered for at least half an hour afterwards.
I ran on my own for 6 months, rapidly getting fitter. In January 1977, I joined the Wits Athletic Club. I will always remember my first Comrades Marathon. It was a wonderful day for me, but I certainly had no idea that, one day, I would win it.
As I ran down to Little Pollys I heard a radio announcer saying Alan Robb had just won in a new record time. I hated him. I still had an hour to go on that hard, hot road.
As I entered the stadium for that wonderful final lap, I felt tremendous joy. Like many Comrades runners, I also vowed never again... but changed my mind the next day. In the next few years I would learn how to train to win it. And the rest is history.