Durban - For Claire Del Grosso, running the Comrades Marathon has been a dream since she was a child passing out refreshments to runners in the race.

The petite blonde, originally from Durban, has journeyed 9 000km from Geneva, Switzerland, in the hope of making that dream a reality on Sunday.

“It seemed like an unreachable dream to me. My aim is to finish, ideally in 11 hours… but I’ll finish even if I drag myself across the finish line on my knees,” she said, laughing.

Her philosophy, borrowing the words of Noel Carrol, is emblazoned on her Facebook wall: “Running is the classical road to self-consciousness, self-awareness and self-reliance.”

Del Grosso will put herself to the ultimate test on Sunday when she joins the “ultimate human race”.

She qualified for the Comrades in November by completing the Turin Marathon (42.1km) in Italy.

Del Grosso is no stranger to endurance events and has run four half-marathons and three full marathons.

She completed the gruelling Strongman Run in Engelburg, Switzerland, last year. Donning a green wig, and dressed as a tree, she braved cold and rainy conditions and 20 different obstacles over 16km.

This is her first Comrades attempt.