“My 2018 Comrades was great but my 2017 race particularly memorable as I had started the race with my long time running mate, Val Watson. 

This story is about her courageous efforts to finish the race, in spite of an unfortunate incident that took place.  After about 10km, my left calf started aching severely.  We pushed on nonetheless and just before Halfway, I finally told Val to go on ahead; I will try to catch up with her - knowing I would likely not see her again. 

Well, if you knew Val, then you know that she doesn’t walk.  So I soldiered on alone, only to my surprise see Val again walking in the distance after Harrison Flats.  It was concerning to see, due to her tenacity and sheer will power to always keep going.

I reached her and asked what was wrong; she turned to look at me with blood dripping down her chin.  In shock, with tearful eyes, she told me that at half way she fell, cutting her chin and lip open – and that one of her ribs feels cracked!  With my calf in pain and her medical issues, we started shuffling on again side by side, while all the way supporting each other mentally and emotionally. 

Through our experience, we knew it was only a matter of one foot in front of the other that will get us to the finish…  And after much walking and shuffling, we eventually managed to finish in 9:24.  Val is over 60 years old, and I have never run with somebody as determined, as strong willed, with such a passion for running like Val. 

So to other runners, never give up, no matter what transpires on the day.  Deal with it, and remember our minds do just as much work as our bodies.”

This month’s winner of the Arnica Ice hamper is Craig Mortassagne.