I Ran It Off!

A di­vor­cée ran his way back to hap­pi­ness – and ful­filled an ul­tra dream.

Runner's World South Africa - - Contents - – AS TOLD TO LISA ABDELLAH

How Will found his weigh back to hap­pi­ness.

The Wake-Up

I had a bad year. I got di­vorced, and my son de­cided to go and live with his mom in Eng­land. Be­cause I wasn’t in a good place men­tally, I be­gan to overeat, of­ten reaching for high-fat, pro­cessed foods.

I’d wake up feel­ing ter­ri­ble ev­ery morn­ing, hav­ing bat­tled to sleep and strug­gling with low self­es­teem. Ev­ery month I had to buy new clothes, to fit my ex­pand­ing waist­line. But in the back of my mind was a nag­ging feel­ing: ever since I was a child, I’d wanted to be a run­ner and take part in the Com­rades.

The Shake-Up

My big­gest chal­lenge was con­vinc­ing my­self I could leave my com­fort zone be­hind, and achieve my goal of run­ning the Com­rades.

At first, I bat­tled to run fur­ther than two or three kilo­me­tres without feel­ing like pass­ing out – which was a far cry from the ±90km I would need to run on race day. To mo­ti­vate my­self, I set smaller goals, such as 10km races.

I cut out all the foods that weren’t help­ing, like pas­tries, takeaways and sug­ary drinks. I also ab­stained from al­co­hol – and I’m proud to say, I haven’t touched a drop since!

The Re­ward

The re­sults were tan­gi­ble: as I in­creased my dis­tance, the weight dropped off, and I be­gan to feel hap­pier. I com­pleted my first 10km race af­ter just 22 weeks of run­ning, and went on to par­tic­i­pate in half marathons and marathons. Then, on Sun­day 4 June 2017, I re­alised my child­hood dream of run­ning the Com­rades! (Ad­di­son fin­ished in an im­pres­sive time of 10:40.36. – Ed.)

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