The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is saddened by the passing of former CMA Vice Chair, Life Member, Elder, Volunteer and Comrades runner, Allan Vincent. He was 70 years old.
Allan has been credited with being a skilled, hands-on, popular and effective leader who served The Ultimate Human Race in various capacities for nearly a decade.
He has been described as having a no-nonsense approach, displaying a high level of integrity and showing tenacity and determination in getting the job done, no matter how big or small. Many of Allan’s innovations and contributions to the Comrades Marathon are still in practice today.
Allan earned four Comrades Bronze medals for his four Comrades Marathon finishes between 1978 and 1983; with a personal best time of 10:11:00.
He served on the CMA Executive and Organising Committee for nine years between 1985 and 1994, the last three of which as Vice Chairperson of the Association.
He was awarded CMA Life Membership with Honours in 1994 for his sterling and selfless contribution to the Comrades Marathon.
CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn says, “The CMA has noted with great sadness the untimely passing of Allan Vincent, former Vice Chairperson, CMA Elder, Life Member, stalwart volunteer and steadfast supporter of The Ultimate Human Race. Allan’s association with the Comrades Marathon dates back to the mid-1970’s, when together with his business partner, Bullet Alexander and a gang of volunteers, they formed the work crew responsible for the construction of the Start and Finish of the race.”
Winn adds, “Allan served on the CMA Executive and Organising Committee for nine years between 1985 – 1994, the last three of which as Vice Chairman of the Association, and in 1994 was awarded CMA Life Membership with Honours for his sterling, selfless and 100% volunteer contribution to CMA. Allan had an incredibly jovial, kind and willing disposition and will be warmly remembered as being one of the willing stalwarts upon whose contribution, the modern-day Comrades Marathon was built. My heart and condolences go out to his wife Lyn and family. May he rest in peace.”
Former CMA Chairperson, Jeff Minnaar says, “I had the pleasure of knowing Allan and working with him for over 40 years and he never changed from the day I met him. He was a friend in need and a friend indeed. A gentleman, a perfectionist, a tough competitor and a no-nonsense supervisor who had a wonderful sense of humour, but most of all, he was a loving husband and father.”
Minnaar adds, “I had the pleasure of training and running the Comrades with him in 1978 with us finishing together, as well as serving on the CMA Executive Committee for many years. He was a man of his word and would never let you down. What you saw is what you got. To Lyn, Brad and Taryn and their families, our hearts bleed for you and we pray that the Lord will give you comfort, knowing that Allan is going to be with his father.”
CMA Elder, Poobie Naidoo says, “Our sincere and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Allan Vincent. This is a huge loss to Lyn as well as the Comrades family. We pray that the Almighty will give them the courage and strength during this sad time. May his soul rest in peace.”
Former CMA Chairperson, Barry Varty says, “I was not a lifelong friend of Allan, having only met and worked with him from 1983 to 1992, during his CMA Executive Board and Portfolio involvement. Allan was a hard-working, no-nonsense leader, and I will always remember his classic reply to those outside complainers, telling him their views on how he should have done things their way. ‘Show me your blisters,’ was his standard reply, and one which silenced all very quickly. I am saddened by Allan’s passing, and I extend my commiserations to Lyn and family.”
Former CMA Chairperson, Peter Proctor says, “I have known Allan since 1980, when I joined his ‘A-Team’ which built the Start and Finish of the Comrades Marathon. Allan was always a very lively and energetic leader, who always conducted himself with the utmost integrity. Always straight-forward and to the point, he was a man with an extremely keen eye for perfection. His ability to organise and build the structures for the running of the race, left an extremely arduous task for anyone who followed in his footsteps.”
Proctor adds, “Allan set the pace for organisers of future Comrades Marathons, and much of his input is still in use to this day. Allan was a man for all seasons and was greatly respected by all who worked with him. My condolences to the Vincent Family and all the friends of Allan. Allan has crossed the finish line for the last time and will be very sadly missed but will never be forgotten. Go in peace.”
Former CMA Chairperson, Mervyn Williams says, “This is indeed very sad news and our condolences go out to Lyn and his family. Allan was Vice Chair during my term as Chairman from 1988 to 1990 and his support was unprecedented. He was a stalwart of the CMA. Nothing ever got him down; he was always cheerful and prepared to take on any task way beyond his specific portfolio of leader of the ‘A-Team’. If there was a problem Allan resolved it and had a unique ability to inspire a loyal following of CMA members, sponsors and runners. He will be missed and the CMA will be poorer without him.”
Head of Sport, SABC, Gary Rathbone has also extended his condolences, saying, “We are sorry to hear of the passing of Allan Vincent. He no doubt left an indelible impact on the race. Our deepest sympathy to Allan’s family, and the Comrades family, from all of us at SABC Sport.”
Comrades Finish Venue Convener, Chris Lombard says, “We are saddened by news of the death of Allan, He was a skilled and talented former convener of the Finish Venue portfolio. We will miss him greatly. May his soul rest in peace.”