Apartheid pervaded every facet of life in South Africa, and sport was no different. Black sportsmen and women were unable to compete on an equal footing, and the sports boycott made the country a pariah state. But marathons offered an open road to all.
Zola Budd-Pieterse is no longer the naïve young darling of South African athletics, but the 46-year-old still has what it takes. She finished her first Two Oceans in April and successfully took on the Comrades Marathon on 3 June, with the help of Comrades legend Bruce Fordyce.
• Running into the history books
The 2011 Comrades Marathon, which took place on 29 May, was the most competitive edition yet. For the first time in the history of the race, top Ethiopian runners entered, posing a great threat to defending champions. The race also saw an increase in entrants from the UK, US, Australia and Brazil.
• South Africa's toughest endurance challenges