“I was never really a “sporty’ kind of girl when I was younger. I did a bit of netball at school and of course the compulsory PE classes where I was always back of the pack and trudged through the classes.
After school I started studying for my teacher’s degree. I became a full-blown student with loads of take away food and no exercise. The most I would exert myself with was a fast walk to a class when I was late.
In 2003, due to health issues, my partner was advised to start exercising. While on our beach holiday, I joined in, and soon realised that walking as a form of exercise was not for me. I started running on the beach and loved it.
This, combined with watching the Comrades Marathon on television on that particular holiday, made me make the bold, and as some would say stupid decision to run my first Comrades Marathon the following year – #impossible.
I remember my first training run. It was hideous and I felt a little bit like throwing up. I was out of breath after five minutes and all I wanted to do was stop. But I stuck at it, and each run became easier and easier, and I became faster and faster.
After 8 months of religious training, early mornings and track sessions, I ran my first marathon. This had to be done as I first had to qualify to run the Comrades Marathon. I made it on a very hot summer’s day, in a time of 3:56.
The entire race was a blur, but I was in love! This only encouraged me to keep going. I had however sustained a hip stress fracture during this race (4 months before Comrades Marathon) which had forced me to train/run in the gym pool for 3 months.
Friends and family were questioning my sanity and my ability to want to run this epic race with one year of training and being a “not so active” kind of girl, never mind a runner. But I was determined.
On 1 June 2004 I completed my first Comrades Marathon in 10:43. This was the most wonderful day! I kept going back year after year and am now a member of the Comrades Green Number Club with 11 medals in the bag, and a PB of 9:48.
Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
The winner of this month’s Arnica Ice hamper is Marna Grobler.