In 1981 the popular running clubs near the East Rand were Springs Striders, Germiston Callies and Boksburg Athletic Club. Most of the runners ran for these clubs. Benoni Northerns, at this stage, was a sports club which did not have a running section. Some runners decided to form a club at Northerns, and in 1981 Benoni Northerns was started.
The committee was formed and, at their first meeting, the current Northerns colours was designed. The club started with 60 members coming from Boksburg, Springs and Callies. Martin Theron was elected the first chairman of Benoni Northerns Athletic Club. There was a personality clash between the chairman and a fellow member, the chairman left Northerns with about 30 members and joined Benoni Harriers, which had a good track and field section but no Road Running. BNAC at this stage gained two very prominent runners from Harriers, namely John and Con Roux.
Chairpersons of Benoni Northerns were, Martin Theron, Les Dickensen, Danie Roussouw, Paul Godwin, Rian Van Wyk, Barry England, Dave Edwards, John Roux, Jan Jordaan, Norman Milne, Debbie Thornton, John Mitchell, Gerard Visser, Paul MCrystal, Emma da Silva and currently, Derek Wright.
Between 1981 and 1988 there were 60 Comrades entrants. From the 60 there were twelve to sixteen silver medalists, but never less than twelve in a year.
Some of the runners who excelled at Benoni Northerns were Tex Cullen with 25 Comrades Medals. Tex and Dennis Jones were the only local runners who have done every Springs Striders since its inception. Frith Van Der Merwe, who needs no introduction, first women home in Comrades, Valerie Bleazard, the fastest lady novice ever to get a gold medal in the Comrades with a time of 6:54 and Gary Turner who achieved a fifth overall.