Hav­ing a strong mind helped me get to the fin­ish

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

ELEVEN hours, 59 min­utes and three sec­onds! I only just made it.

But I com­pleted my first Com­rades Marathon. And it was mainly be­cause I was strong men­tally that I fin­ished it that year (2012).

I be­gan run­ning Com­rades be­cause of my hus­band re­ally. For while I have al­ways been health con­scious, my mom was a ma­tron who was big on healthy liv­ing, I ac­tu­ally used to think peo­ple who ran Com­rades were crazy.

My hus­band Kevin had run six Com­rades when we met and he did that com­ing all the way from the UK just for the race. I re­mem­ber ask­ing him: “are you mad?”

But af­ter I be­gan supporting him, wak­ing up at un­godly hours, I got tired of play­ing sup­port and de­cided “let me do this thing”.

I was in the process of re­defin­ing my­self at the time, life af­ter YFM and East Coast Ra­dio. I wanted to do shows that had mean­ing, to be more than just a DJ, you know.

So health mat­ters be­came my thing and at Ga­gasi FM I started talk­ing about those and I an­nounced I am go­ing to run Com­rades. Some peo­ple thought I was crazy.

Kevin didn’t run the 2011 race but we went to watch and the ex­pe­ri­ence was amaz­ing. The am­bi­ence and see­ing peo­ple from all walks of life made me re­ally want to run.

And so I went to run the Soweto Marathon in 2011 and when I fin­ished he told me I’d qual­i­fied.

I later found out that there had not been any prom­i­nent me­dia per­son­al­ity in KZN who had done the race and the fact I was go­ing to be the first spurred me on. I trained hard and was con­fi­dent that, with Kevin by my side, I’d do it.

But then he had flu and couldn’t run. Still, my dear hubby in­sisted that he would run with me. I hit the wall at the 21km mark and I be­gan doubt­ing. But then Keni said to me “re­mem­ber you have all the lis­ten­ers of Ga­gasi wait­ing for you on the road and at the fin­ish”. I went on.

At around Kloof, he started clog­ging up and he told me I looked good and I should keep go­ing.

I looked at him and said: “I don’t have di­rec­tions.”

Oh that man laughed at me. How he man­aged to laugh that much with those clogged up lungs beats me. Off I went, putting one foot in front of the other. My heart sank when the 12 hour bus passed me at Westville. I felt I was gone. But Kevin had ad­vised me to never give up and I kept on run­ning. When I got into Com­mer­cial Road and made the ap­proach to the sta­dium I could hear the an­nouncer say­ing: “you have four min­utes.”

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