The CMA is saddened by news of the recent passing away of Comrades Marathon Finish Venue volunteer, Thomas Robinson. Tom, as he was affectionately known, was 57 years old.
Tom served as a volunteer for nearly 4 years, assisting the CMA’s Finish Venue team and lending a helping hand with the Start and Media portfolios. He was a kind, helpful and incredibly approachable man who went beyond the call of duty to help people and be of service.
He also loved running, having completed the Comrades Marathon 9 times during the years 1985 till 2005; with a personal best of 7:17:25 in the 1986 Down Run. Tom earned 1 Silver, 1 Bill Rowan, 1 Vic Clapham and 6 Bronze medals over the years.
His daughter Tegan Robinson, who was planning to do her maiden Comrades run together with her Green Number-aspirant Dad last year, says, “My Dad was a selfless man. He was an avid runner and a Comrades enthusiast. If he was not running he would make sure he was helping out with the Comrades organising team or otherwise was kicking us out of bed to manage water tables.”
Tegan adds, “Over the last 3 years I was lucky enough to join him on his running adventures and learnt from him that running is a selfless sport where winning was not the aim but rather making friends and encouraging others to finish was. My Dad used to run ahead to water tables and run back to me handing out water to people on the way back. It always amazed me how he could run almost double the marathon distance and still look so fresh. My Dad was a selfless and lovable man, so much so that he would even wait at the finish line for me so that I could cross before him. My Dad was my running partner and I will continue to honour him in all the races I do in the future.”
CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn said, “Tom was the embodiment of the many unsung heroes who work tirelessly towards the success of the Comrades Marathon. We thank him for his contribution to The Ultimate Human Race and are deeply grateful to him for supporting our athletes, running the great race and showcasing the beauty and magnanimity of being a Comrades volunteer.”
Former Finish Venue Convenor, Jeff Minnaar said, “I first met Thomas in 2015 at an A-Team volunteers meeting when he offered his services to the Association. He immediately was enthusiastic about working with us and asked what his duties would be. I had to slow him down and explained to him that we would still have to assess the applications and then we would notify him. Thomas showed only enthusiasm for the jobs that were given to him which he carried out to perfection and then awaited the next instruction. Thomas was the epitome of a friend and gentleman. My condolences go out to his family. He will be sorely missed by everyone he worked with and his Comrades Marathon Association family. May he rest in peace.’
CMA Start Venue Convenor, Johan Viljoen said, “I'm saddened by the news of Tommy’s passing. Tommy was a real stalwart as a volunteer at Comrades. He was always keen and dedicated when he assisted us at the start and performed whatever duties he was required to do with great enthusiasm and passion. A task was never too small or too big for Tommy. He was well respected by all and always was a gentleman and respectful to everyone else. He will be dearly missed by the Comrades family. My condolences go out to his family.”