Grandmother-of-eight Patsy Clemmans, 70, is the oldest female athlete who will join 22 365 other runners as they race to The Oval in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

The Durban woman started running the Comrades Marathon in 1982 and she has since completed the race 14 times.

Clemmans is planning to call it quits after this Comrades and said she did not want to push her body to run 90km anymore.

?I?ve been really blessed; I?m fit, I?m healthy, but to push for the double green number (20 years) wouldn?t be realistic at my age,? she said.

Clemmans hasn?t always been into road running, but at the age of 36 she started slowly getting into it because she was unhappy with her weight and her smoking habit.

She has fond memories of her first Comrades to Durban, and couldn?t believe it when she was the 20th woman to cross the finishing line.

?I kept going back to running the race, because I wanted to improve on my times, so I trained hard.

?My best time was 7:48 in 1990,? she pointed out.

She is saying goodbye to the Comrades, but Clemmans said she would never stop running, and next year she will be off to Cape Town for the Old Mutual Two Oceans.


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