A LEGEND'S DREAM COME TRUE
by Michelle Carnegie
26 October 2017
New York City better watch out, because SA’s legendary Louis Massyn, who has run 45 consecutive Comrades Marathons, is on his way to the Big Apple! When Louis steps on the aeroplane tonight, his lifelong dream of running the TCS New York City Marathon will start becoming a reality.
“I am super excited. I did not think this dream would ever come true,” says Louis, who will be travelling with his employer and childhood friend Kobie Mouton. It is Kobie who helped make this dream a reality, as it was him who promised Louis a sponsored overseas marathon trip when Louis completed his 40th Comrades Marathon. And what makes it even more special is that they will be embarking upon this journey only three days after Louis turned 67. What a birthday celebration.
It seems as if Louis has already made waves in running circles in New York, as his itinerary is jammed packed with invitation from international runners who would like to run with him before the marathon next Sunday. In fact, some of the runners, who have come to know Louis’ Comrades history, sent messages to Louis to let him know he doesn’t have to worry as the New York Marathon is “only 42.2km” long!
Louis, who in his younger days bagged 10 silver Comrades medals and 6 Two Oceans silver medals, is especially excited about being part of the Parade of Nations in Central Park next week Friday night. It’s going to be quite a day as Louis and other South African runners will be having tea at the South African Embassy in New York earlier that same day.
He has also been invited to be the guest of honour at the welcoming function of Marathon Tours & Travel, a worldwide marathon tour organisation.
And when it comes to warm up runs, he will definitely not be short of company as he will be joining a group of New York Road Runners as well as the ambassador for Comrades in New York for a jog or two in Central Park. A breakfast with runners from Philadelphia is also on the cards as well as another run along the Hudson River. Quite a schedule!
If there is one thing Louis has always dreamt of when in New York, it is to visit the Empire State Building, which he is going to visit twice, once in the day and once at night.
Louis will be running in aid of Autism and will be raising money for the Els for Autism Foundation, a charity that is very close to his heart. South African golfer Ernie Els is the Founder of the Els for Autism Foundation.
Louis will also be handed a South African flag at the 20-mile mark, which he will run with to the finish. “Fun times are awaiting me,” says Louis, who is the only person who has run both the Two Oceans Marathon 40 times AND the Comrades Marathon 40 times consecutively.
From Comrades to New York
This Comrades legend, who has run the Dubai and Dallas Marathons in 2012, says it is very difficult to try and compare the excitement he feels when running Comrades compared to his excitement now. “Just to be part of the world’s largest marathon is amazing. Last year there were more than 51 000 finishers within the cut off time as well as 2 million spectators along the route,” says Louis, who will be kitted out in SA colours with his achievement of 45 consecutive Comrades printed on the vest.
When he lines up at the start of the New York City Marathon, it will be his 364th marathon. “I am super, super excited,” says Louis, who will be back in the country on November 8th.
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