Comrades ’18: Best Quotes From The Elite Women’s Press Conference

What the top women contenders said ahead of Sunday’s race.


Mike Finch |

“I can’t believe how lucky I am to be here and be lining up against the best athletes. I’m just going to breath and take it all in. I’m really grateful.” – Stephanie Smith, ninth last year

“I’m finally sticking my neck out and taking it on. I don’t know what lies ahead, so it will be a huge learning experience. I was born and bred in Durban and I’ve been desperate to come back and do the ‘Down’ run. My dad has done 11 Comrades and my mom three so it is going to be very special and emotional. – Tanith Maxwell, Olympic marathoner, Two Oceans gold medallist and Comrades debutant.

“When I was young I used to tell my parents that Comrades day was more exciting to me than opening presents on Christmas day.” – Maxwell

“I started doing Comrades in 2003 and have had big breaks. I’ve changed a lot of things and pushed myself to the limits all these years. But this year I haven’t raced as much and I’m excited and ready.” – Yolande McLean, who has run gold in every one of her seven Comrades finishes.

“I heard you can take in the vibe more on the ‘Down’ run because it’s easier (laughs)… we shall see.’ – Danette Smith, eighth in 2017

“We all run because we love it and it gives us joy. My hope for Comrades is that it is an amazing and memorable experience for all of us.’ – Smith

“This race is in my blood and I would never miss it for anything.” – Ann Ashworth, 13th in 2017

“Winning Comrades in 2016 changed my life. It will always be close to my heart and it showed that anything can happen. With 18km to go I was 18 minutes behind Caroline (Wostmann)!’ – Charne Bosman, 2016 winner and multiple gold medallist

“It’s really important to stay relaxed. It’s what I’ve trained for all year so I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself next week.” – Bosman

“I don’t feel the pressure. Stressing just robs you of energy. I have a plan and that takes off the pressure.” – Bosman

“When I got my first gold in 2016 I thought phwoar, this is cool! I had stomach problems last year but still got my silver but I want to get a gold again.” – Fikile Mbuthuma, 11-time Comrades finisher

“Winning Two Oceans was a very big change in my life. After running Oceans hard I made sure I recovered fully before I started training again and was fresh. There was more a gap between Two Oceans and Comrades than usual, which helped.” – pre-race favourite and 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans winner Gerda Steyn

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