Friday, May 20, 2022

South African ultrarunning legend, Mavis Hutchison has passed away

South African ultrarunning legend, Mavis Hutchison has passed away.

Affectionately known as the “Galloping Granny”, 97-year-old Hutchinson died on Thursday.

She was a pioneer for women in running, and especially as an ultra-marathon runner. In 1965 she became only the third woman to complete the Comrades Marathon (as an unofficial entrant), and then went on to complete another seven Comrades.  In 1973 she became the first woman to run the 602km from Germiston to Durban at the age of 49. This led to her nickname, which became her trademark and a name she proudly carried.

At age 53, Mavis made history by becoming the first woman to run across America from Los Angeles to New York City. She continued competing at the World Master’s Games, where she set new records, until her early 80’s and was still seen training regularly up to a few years ago.

Western Cape’s Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC, Anroux Marais, said Mavis embodied the concept of a life-long athlete.

“She stayed fit and healthy and continued competing at an unbelievable age. She paved the way for many female athletes and was also a mentor and inspiration to many. She never hesitated to give back to the running community. We are grateful for her contribution to sport and for the legacy she leaves behind. ‘’

 

PICTURED: Mavis Hutchison

Done By: Mitchum George

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