Real pressing assignment for Stones
There will be about 38 athletes on the track, 30 of whom are invited athletes, which are those athletes who met stringent qualifying standards and were then personally invited by the race organisers to compete.
Daily Dispatch staffer Stones falls into that elite category after Washie 100 legend Johan van der Merwe personally invited him to compete on the basis of his performance at last year’s 10-day race,
At that particular event Stones won and broke the SA age group record, with a distance of 886.748km.
The current world record-holder in the 100 Mile, Oleg Kharitonov, from Russia, who previously won the Comrades Marathon, is in the field alongside a few other Comrades gold medallists, several SA age group record-holders, and Van der Merwe himself.
“There are two Russians, one Spaniard, chasing the Spanish records for 100 Miles and 24 Hours, and the top SA athletes are focused on breaking the long-standing South African record for the 100 Mile, for which there is a R100000 cash incentive,” said Stones.
Stones will be aiming to set three Deaf World Records, for the 100km Track, 100 Miles Track, and 24 Hours Track.
Also close to his heart is the campaign for which Stones runs, which is the Going the Distance campaign for Rare Diseases South Africa/ Rare ACTIVists, which highlights the plight of young children struggling with rare diseases.
It is a campaign that Stones runs for in every long-distance race he takes part in. “I am hoping to run at least 100 miles, a distance I have never achieved before in 24 hours,” added Stones. “I know I will push my body physically and mentally to a level it has not been before.”
The run starts at 9am today and will finish at 9am tomorrow morning.