Lindsay van Aswegen smiles after completing the 2010 Comrades Marathon. Van Aswegen and compatriot Kerry Koen have finished third and ninth respectively in the 25th running of the International Association of Ultra-runners World Championships in Europe this past weekend. Photo: Courtesy CMA

South African ultra-marathon specialists Lindsay van Aswegen and Kerry Koen – who run for Toyota Athletic Club and Nedbank Running Club respectively, proved themselves to be among the ‘cream-of-the-crop-runners’ at the prestigious IAU World Championships in Europe this past weekend, when van Aswegen won the bronze medal, and Koen came in at number nine.

Kerry Koen (centre) with CMA Chairman, Peter Proctor (left) and CATHSSETA CEO, Mike Tsotetsi. Photo: Courtesy CMANow in its 25th year, the International Association of Ultra-runners (IAU) World and European Championships was held in the Dutch city of Winschoten on Saturday, 10 September 2011, and top Russian runner Marina Bychkova, who took gold for 6th position in the Comrades 2009 race, bagged the winning trophy.

Organisers say the ultra-marathon had attracted a record number of participants this year, with more than 230 athletes representing 35 countries in the 100km race.

Race Director of the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), Johan van Staden says: ‘We are very mindful of the fact that South Africa has some of the world’s best runners who have consistently shown their mettle during many Comrades races.

“It is especially pleasing to see these high performance athletes going on to prove their might at top international running events such as the IAU World Championships.

“Last but not least, it is gratifying to note that our international Comrades runners are making their mark elsewhere and have also signalled their intention to take on the Ultimate Human Race challenge in 2012,” said van Staden.