Channelle Makhele: The Best Comeback at Comrades 2024


When Channelle Makhele crossed the finish line in 9:28:20 at this year’s Comrades she knocked a massive 2h15 minutes off her debut run in 2019. Whilst this is an impressive achievement, it was only good enough to earn her 124th position on the most improved list. However, it’s her response to her DNF in 2023 that earns her the accolade of best comeback at Comrades 2024.

Channelle’s 2023 run is documented here: The Nightmare on Epworth Street (Safety negligence at Comrades breaks bones and shatters dreams). Her run ended before the 5km mark on the Nightmare on Epworth Street with a badly fractured fibula. Not realising the seriousness of her injury, and in an incredible feat of sheer bloody-mindedness, Channelle refused to throw in the towel and decided to try and walk to Durban. She got as far as the Fat Cats seconding crew at Umlaas Road (24km into the race) before calling it a day and ended up spending the night in hospital.

Last year I left Channelle’s story at, “One major operation later to realign the joint and put in a plate and screws, and Channelle faced six weeks before she even gets to the start line on the long road to recovery and rehabilitation.”  Here’s what happened next…

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