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01 May, 2011

The Model Runner

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The Model Runner

How did you get involved in the TV and modelling industry?
I got my first modelling job when I returned to South Africa after studying in Belgium for a few years. I initially took the job because it paid the bills but then things took off. At the moment I am a presenter at Top Billing and Top Travel. I also do some modelling work, which means I travel a lot for shoots. I am joint owner of Full Circle Model & Celebrity Management, a modelling agency in Cape Town.

What does a day in your life look like?
It’s pretty hectic. If I’m not shooting for Top Billing, I’m busy with Top Travel or I’m at the office. I travel almost every week, either to Johannesburg or overseas, and usually I’m away from home for about six weeks at a time.

How do you fit in running into this hectic schedule?
I like starting my day breaking a sweat, so most of my runs are done in the morning. It energises me and gets me going for the rest of the day. If I don’t exercise I become frustrated. Other people practice yoga to stay sane. I run.

What do you love about running?
It’s the perfect way to unwind, de-stress and keep fit. I love challenging myself and seeing how hard I can push my body. It’s also the perfect training method when you’re travelling, because you don’t need any equipment or training partners.

Have you run any races?
I’ve done the odd half marathon, but I mostly just run for myself. I’d love to do more races, because I thrive on competition, but because of my crazy schedule I can’t plan ahead. I prefer a 10km trail run to an ultra-marathon on the road.

What is your greatest achievement or memory of running?
I did a 24-hour run in Belgium for charity. I was part of a team of six and we had to sprint around a 400m track every 5 minutes for 24 hours. I am proud of that accomplishment.

And in your career?
Starting my own business and watching it grow is a far greater achievement than being a celebrity. It’s a bit like running, because you have to put in the work to make a success of it, and I know I’ve worked for what I’ve achieved.

What does your current training schedule look like?
When I’m home I run a regular route in the nature reserve next to my house, and when I’m feeling strong I do it about four times a week. Apart from that, I am a strong believer in body-related exercises and most of my training consists of push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups.

How has running influenced your life?
Running energises me and gives me time to think about my business. It has made me competitive and has given me willpower. So to some extent it has probably helped me achieve success in business. When my body feels finely tuned, I feel like my life responds to that. I guess that’s where the saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ comes in.

Where are some of the most beautiful places you’ve run?
Running in Central Park in New York City was an amazing experience. Running through the city was intense and it felt like I was a better athlete when I ran there. I also enjoyed running along the Copa Cabana in Rio de Janeiro, in Stanley Park in Vancouver, in Amsterdam, Brussels and the Easter Islands.

Who would you hate being beaten by?
My business partner, Paul. He beats me in tennis and one of the reasons I train hard is to beat him in running!

What’s the first thing you do after a run?
When I come back from a run I always sit down and look up at the sky; there’s a moment where time stands still. It’s the best drug you can ever take.

What is your favourite meal after a run?
It has to be breakfast: papaya, yoghurt and muesli.

What would you say to someone who says that they don’t have the time to start running?
It’s a lame excuse – there’s always time. All you have to do is put on your shoes and go.

Do you have any advice for novices?
Take it slow, find a nice stretch, set yourself goals and achieve them.