Updated: February 23, 2016

Chet Sainsbury, one of the most recognisable personalities in South African road running due to the tremendous influence he had one of the country’s most popular road races, has died at the age of 73.
“Our friend, mentor, and Old Mutual Two Oceans race director for almost 30 years passed away after a long battle with cancer. Rest in peace,” the race organisers confirmed on social media on Tuesday.
Sainsbury organised the annual 56km race in Cape Town with remarkable success between 1981 and 2007.
He stepped down from the role when he was replaced by Rowyn James, but with James taking up his current role as Comrades Marathon race director in 2014, Sainsbury returned to take the reins.
Though he stepped down again last year, he remained directly involved in the race, and was re-elected to the Two Oceans board in December last year.
Aside from his influential role as race organiser, Sainsbury completed the 56km race 32 times between 1978 and 2014, and participated in the half-marathon event in 2012.
He also finished the Comrades Marathon 14 times, earning 11 silver medals at the annual 89km race in KwaZulu-Natal.