Twice the fun: Keith Burnhard, Ian Esterhuysen and Jill Montgomery will run in the Comrades Marathons to raise money for World Vision. *Photo by Simon Jones
Twice the fun: Keith Burnhard, Ian Esterhuysen and Jill Montgomery will run in the Comrades Marathons to raise money for World Vision. *Photo by Simon Jones

FRIDAY, APRIL 27: Three islanders will be swapping their suits for running shorts later this summer to take part in one of the most gruelling marathon races in the world.

Ian Esterhuysen, Jill Montgomery and Keith Burnhard will run two back-to-back marathons along the Old Road between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in South Africa for charity.

The trio have been clocking up the miles in training ahead of the Comrades Marathon that takes place on June 3.

They hope to raise more than $12,000 for World Vision, an international charity that helps children and families overcome poverty and injustice.

The three fundraisers will fly out to South Africa at the end of May to take part in the 56-mile race, which attracts around 18,000 athletes and is broadscast on national television.

Mr Esterhuysen had never run a marathon before this January.

The South African accountant said: “My father Len did seven of these Comrades Marathons and it was always something I wanted to take part in.

“I’m trying to prepare myself for the worst.

“At the moment it’s about getting through the training uninjured.”

Fellow South African Mr Burnhard was supposed to compete in the Comrades Marathon in 1992, but had to pull out at the last minute when he broke his foot.

The internal auditor added: “This was a challenge that a friend and I said we would do before we were 40.

“Unfortunately he had to pull out so I was really happy to find these guys were also taking part in it and train with them.

“This is about raising as much money as we can for a very worthwhile charity, but I also want to be able to say I have completed it.”

Ms Montgomery, an accountant from Canada, simply hopes to complete the race under the 12-hour cut-off time.

She said: “I’m really excited about what lies ahead. I know it’s going to be incredibly hard, so it would be a huge achievement to complete this race in under 12 hours.

“I’ll be happy even if I have to be pushed or rolled over the line.”