Comrades Expo History Gallery to pay tribute to Barry Varty
History boffins can look forward to more than just the usual 3-day Comrades Expo preceding race day next week. With just over a week to go to Comrades race day, it’s all systems go for The Ultimate Human Race and a jam-packed race week of Comrades fun and festivities.
Set in the beautiful and warm City of Durban, the three-day Comrades Expo preceding race day is back with much anticipation and excitement from the organizers, runners, exhibitors and supporters.
More than being the biggest running-related expo in Africa, historians and runners who cherish the long-standing traditions of the race will find much to appreciate about this year’s Comrades Expo which includes a refurbished Comrades Marathon History Gallery. This year's exhibition will pay tribute to Comrades Stalwart, Barry Varty.
Barry, who was the holder of Comrades Green Number 616, was the Founder of the Comrades Marathon History Gallery, which first featured at the inaugural Comrades Marathon Expo in 1983; something which he zealously guarded and nurtured until his passing in 2021.
The Comrades History Gallery consists of a rare and irreplaceable exhibition of photographs, news clippings and artifacts, for which Barry played a passionate and meticulous role in collecting and curating, in order to document and portray for posterity the rich and captivating story of The Ultimate Human Race.
It was a labour of love born out of a personal lifelong allegiance and enchantment with the epic journey between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Having successfully completed 28 Comrades Marathons, Barry never gave up trying and continued until well into his 80’s endeavouring either to qualify for, or to complete the Comrades Marathon, proudly, cheerfully and undeterredly also accumulating 9 DNF’s to his record in his never-ending quest for that elusive Triple Green Number.
A former Chairperson of the Comrades Marathon (1994-1996), Barry devoted 39 years of dedicated service to the Ultimate Human Race and will be forever fondly remembered for not only embodying the spirit of Comrades with his never-say-die attitude, but for the lasting legacy he has left in the Comrades Marathon History Gallery.