06 Jan, 2014

Running for Lettie

Running for Lettie

There we were at the Cape Point Lighthouse on Friday 29 March, six runners dressed up in pink outfits more akin to a gay pride parade as Japanese tourists snapped away with their cameras. The six were Charles ‘Zoog’ Haynes, Alana ‘Doylie’ Doyle, Robert ‘Brundle’ le Brun, Guy Allen, Alister ‘Dream’ Wilder and myself. We ran along the Puffer Route over Table Mountain to the bottom of Platteklip Gorge, and from there made our way back along the contour path to Newlands. We got back to my house at 2:35am – 15 hours, 35 minutes and 70km later, according to the one Garmin we had between us – having been joined by more than 10 other runners along the way, and seconded by still more.


Less than four hours later, four of us lined up for the start of the Two Oceans ultra, and all went on to complete an epic 126km journey. Unfortunately, Alister twisted his ankle badly late on the first day and took no further part, and Zoog did the entire Puffer section like a champion, despite an injury, and thus did not start Oceans, but the rest of us did it, with Brundle just making the final seven-hour cut-off by a few minutes. His raw emotion will be etched in my heart forever. A moment to savour for life!



This was the Lettie Run 2013, inspired by fellow runner Lettie Haynes, who last year went through a tough battle with breast cancer, supported all the way by husband Zoog. She seems to have won that battle, but she could not have done it on her own, and I think the group photos of the Lettie Run capture the essence of what inspired us to do it, and what enabled Lettie to beat a really nasty illness. It sums up the spirit in which two very special friends of ours tackled a really tough thing together. It's amazing how far a sense of humour and a truckload of love and dignity will take you.


That why we decided to support the Pink Drive with this run, hence the pink outfits, and it was epic the way we gathered troops as we ran, like Forrest Gump! Also, thanks to a Brundle-inspired rule, every FH (Fire Hydrant) sign painted on the road meant "Free Hug" and everyone piled in! It was pretty sweaty in there, but it reminded us regularly not to take ourselves or the run too seriously! And I’m sure it provided some form of entertainment to any passers-by!



But it’s our support crew that truly show the essence of Lettie Run, and all the other events that we are part of, which simply would not happen without people who selflessly give of themselves. This is why Jamo made event stickers for his car, why Brundle's old man, Stanley, gave up his entire public holiday to support his special son, why Bryony made nothing seem like too much trouble, and why Lettie flew down with Zoog from Durban to give her support and inspiration as the person who has brought us all together. And there were more people who chipped in. Big or small, it made a difference to us, and we salute you all.


This run was truly magical. Where there is heart, incredible things happen. It will live in us forever, and hopefully will inspire us and many more people to do many more great things, Lettie Run 2014 being one!