Running With Heartache

A New Challenge


I have been battling infertility for many years and have tried everything. I needed to shift my focus and find a new challenge to distract myself, so in December last year I thought I would try running. I didn’t do sport at school, but thought it’s never too late to become an athlete! Well, all I can say is that I love everything about it (especially receiving my T-shirt at the end of a race, but my club tells me the novelty will wear off soon).

Despite the heartache and pain that infertility brings, I want to inspire and encourage other women in my situation that it’s important to keep having fun and enjoying every moment of your life, while waiting and remaining hopeful. Running is one way of doing this, and I know it will help me be a healthy, energetic mom in the future! – DEBBIE IVINS, PINETOWN

My Running Dream
I am a relatively new runner and amazed by the Comrades Marathon, which I ran for the first time this year. For most of my training I ran on my own, but I have met a lot of good people along the way. Several fellow runners gave me valuable tips on running Comrades and their advice has helped me a lot, as they are all long-time runners. In the process, these runners have also become my friends.

I was very excited and nervous at this year’s Comrades, especially seeing so many new people. But it was ‘Ayoba’ for me and from now on I will always run! I have realised running and staying in shape leads to fitness, and fitness leads to a healthy life. It is my dream to become one of South Africa’s best runners and I believe that dreams can come true. – LUDWICK KGOMO KOLOBE

Don’t Forget Cross-country!
I am surprised that what is regarded as the core sport or the central tenant of future champions remains sponsorless. Cross-country running has for a long time produced some of the top runners all over the world. Who can forget Paul Tergat, Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele and our very own Hendrick Ramaala? All these athletes share one thing in common: They were all good cross-country runners who progressed to world class times in their respective distances.

On 25 June I attended the CGA Cross-country meeting in Daveyton. It was well attended, but it was evident that most of the elite athletes were absent, the reason being there is no financial reward at the end of the road for these athletes. Something should be done about sponsorship of cross-country races. I think it is up to the corporate world to intervene and athletics officials to act decisively on the matter, in the interest of athletics development. We are preaching development for big and international events but forget to put a strong and uncompromising development policy and structures in place to achieve the maximum results at respective international events.

I would love to see more athletes follow in the footsteps of both Elana Meyer and Hendrick Ramaala, or even achieve more than they did. Cross-country is the core of running and should not be a forgotten discipline! – DONALD MATHIPA

Running Educator
I am a proud primary school educator and the year 2011 marked my 20th successful completion of the Comrades Marathon. Over the years I have learnt that there are many similarities between running and education.

In both you need to control your emotions daily, you need to keep on reminding yourself to stay positive and goal-orientated, and to never give up. In education, you encourage learners the same way runners encourage each other on the road, and sometimes in education we experience results that can be disappointing, as in running. I have to constantly adjust my teaching strategies as well as my training schedule to achieve the results I desire.

Runners and educators often face ‘up hills’, and sometimes it is those few seconds of hesitation and thinking of giving up, that can make the difference in finishing the Ultimate Human race or changing a learner’s life forever. Gratitude, love and being an inspiration are key elements of good educators and athletes. To all educators: Enjoy teaching, and to all runners: Keep on participating, as running has taught me to be humble. The completion of many marathons has empowered and motivated me for every challenge I have to face in life. – Maylah Pieterse

Running my Mouth Off…
I have always been an occasional runner, without much besides big talk in small circles justifying owning a pair of racing slicks! Since then, however, I have come to find just cause, or possibly rather the motivation needed, to spend more time dodging traffic and potholes whilst gaining a more intimate knowledge of the roads of South Africa.

It all came to pass one night while enjoying a few sedate single malts. It was then that my tongue, possibly urged on by the accumulating listeners, dug me the hole in which I as yet have to dig my way out of. This hole being the completion of Comrades 2012, without which I (and a few others foolish enough to stand behind me) shall have to donate a sum of money to a charity that we all happen to already support.

Now I know giving money to a charity is not a bad thing, but in my experience, placed in situations like these, it’s more about the manner in which the money is given and the inherent pride that is forfeited at the same time. I do happen to be fairly attached to both my mouth and my pride, unfortunately, which means that I have no choice really but to stand behind them.

This brings me now to the point in my story where I stumbled onto your magazine, having first got directions to a running shop. I can fully say that I am learning and I definitely find it easier to train with your magazine on a cold morning, as opposed to leg time! OK seriously, I am loving running. Hopefully one day I can earn my ‘I’m a hardcore runner’ badge, but possibly only in summer, though! And yes, Comrades will be beaten! – ZANE LIEBETRAU