The Comrades Marathon is an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon race.
Comrades Marathon / hand drawn illustration / 11” x 14” claybord panel / 2018
In 2018 I was commissioned to create a map for a 10 time finisher, and new green number holder of the Comrades Marathon, one of the world's most iconic running events.
Here's some inspiring feedback Michele sent me:
"This is by far the most treasured, precious and meaningful gift I have received- there is so much symbolism and achievement etched into each stroke of the pen that has created this journey map. From the age of 5 years old, I emphatically noted to my father that, 'one day when I am big, I will run the Comrades Marathon and complete 10 in a row.' The only proviso I had to honour to my dad, was that I was not allowed to run until I was 30 years old (allowing for bones to settle for endurance). In my thirtieth year, three days prior to my first Comrades Marathon in 2009, my father was tragically murdered. With great support and companion strength from my husband and despite the shock and grief, we completed our first Comrades that year. We continued participation annually for the following 9 consecutive events. Each race was different, but was an accumulative goal achievement to ensure I accomplished that promise made to a man who embodied resilience and great strength.
Upon completion of my 10th Comrades Marathon, my amazing husband presented me with a special gift- this hand drawn art piece exquisitely crafted by Owen. The detail and meaning of the journey of this race over 10 years, has been captured with such uniqueness and precision. This is a timeless piece of work, which not only holds so much treasure in its authenticity, but will always be a memento of the stark life contrasts of the loss and gain as one courses the route along life's map. Achievement and success are possible if one has passion, resilience and persistence... and the reward is a creative masterpiece made by a very talented artist." - Michelle Davis
I then had the chance to run Comrades myself in 2019. While preparing and researching the route and ascent that lay ahead, I created this hand drawn elevation profile.
Comrades Up / hand drawn illustration / 28” x 14” fine art paper / 2019
Personalised prints are available to buy from my shop.
The design also became the commorative t-shirt for the group of friends I travelled and ran Comrades with.
Comrades Up / digital illustration / t-shirt / 2019
Running Comrades was an incredible thing to experience, and as I finished my race report with, “If I was only allowed to run one more race in my life, it would be to run Comrades again.“