Beating a Not-So-Hasty Retreat

Isandlwana viewThe view from the start

The Dundee (pronounced by some as DinDear) athletic club and the Dundee Hysterical Society run a 21km race called the Isandlwana 21 or The Fugitives’ Trail (or something) every January – closest Sunday to the 21st which is when the homeland-defending Zooloos routed the wickedly-invading Poms in 1879, and Queen Vic dished out VC’s by the dozen to cover up their embarrassment (or something, take my history lessons with a sack of cerebos). The race starts above Isandlwana and ends at Rorke’s Drift.

I went to run it one year and it was very special: Half the club members manning the water tables dressed as Zulus in full regalia, and half as pith-helmeted, redcoated Poms (some of the former were pale and some of the latter dark, to add to the hilarity).

The oke who started the race looked like a drunken Pommy colonel. He had no gun, whistle or trumpet. He rambled on about who had done what to whom in 1879 – a potted history – and then, when the ‘off’ time arrived he shouted:


‘Course, in my specific case, all the Zooloos running that day were well ahead of me.


The race result was something like this:redcoats n zulus

We crossed the Buffalo at Rorke’s Drift and finished at the famous mission of the same name:

The finishers medal is special. I got one like the one on the left – a cross between a Victoria Cross and a Zulu shield:

VC from Isandlwana 21km

I later gave it away.


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