Following is media release issued by The Comrades Marathon Association.

The annual awards gala of the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) kicked off in spectacular fashion in Durban as the CMA honoured some amazing individuals together with major sponsor, Old Mutual.

The Old Mutual Spirit of Comrades awards gala celebrates remarkable individuals every year for their very human attributes of selflessness, dedication, perseverance and ubuntu; combined with their love for The Ultimate Human Race.

The awardees are nominated by CMA members, Comrades Marathon runners and the general public; and are subject to the discretion of the CMA Board. The awards criteria place special emphasis on Comrades Marathon winners, legends, volunteers and otherwise ordinary heroes and heroines; who through individual acts of service, sacrifice, courage or perseverance, either in a single race or over a period of time, exhibit the noble qualities associated with The Ultimate Human Race.

Old Mutual Head of Brand Karen Thomas warmly congratulated all the winners: “Just doing this great race makes you a hero in our eyes, but the Old Mutual Spirit of Comrades Awards winners have gone even further, each of them enriching the event through their selfless conduct”.

“These are people whose selflessness, compassion and humanity have given rise to extraordinary acts,” she added. “Old Mutual is very proud to be associated with an event that salutes these people and honours the very best of human nature.”

The prestigious awards gala has been a defining feature of the CMA since 1991. The Spirit of Comrades recipients are presented with a one-ounce, 24 carat gold medallion, courtesy of major sponsor, Old Mutual, as well as due recognition of their remarkable qualities.



The awardee was Amit Sheth. Being passionate about the Comrades Marathon, he has successfully completed The Ultimate Human Race five times. He is the first Indian national to have run the Comrades Marathon in 2009, and in that same year, was appointed the Comrades International Brand Ambassador for the Indian subcontinent, a role which he has fulfilled with enthusiasm and pride.

Over the years, Amit has inspired, mentored and encouraged hundreds of people to spread the word of the world’s greatest footrace. His book, Dare to Run, which was published in 2010 became a bestseller in India and has helped to motivate people from all walks of life to get into running, and more specifically to come and take up the Comrades challenge. To this end, nearly 100 runners from India had entered the 2016 Comrades Marathon, up from 1 runner in 2009.

Despite his everyday job as the CEO of a successful engineering company in India, Amit makes the time to blog about his running experiences and share his running hints, tips and general motivation to runners all over the Indian subcontinent and across the world. He is a motivational speaker of note and also an amazingly great-heart when it comes to charitable fundraising.

To date, Amit has collected over twenty million rupees for the cancer treatment of underprivileged children at the Tata Memorial Hospital – the largest cancer hospital in Asia. With his quiet, unassuming nature and huge heart, Amit most certainly epitomizes the true spirit of the Comrades Marathon like few others can.

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