Okay, so I probably mislead you with the headline there – my bowel movements are actually just plain dandy (ah gee, thanks for that, LG).
You clicked the link though! 😉
I do indeed have the runs though (the good kind).
Not this kind…
I would like to officially declare this my first blog about my strong desire to one day get to running the world famous Comrades Marathon!
Cue the adoring applause from the appreciative audience:
I have decided that the 2018 down run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban is my target (as hinted at in my previous blog: “Things I learned in the Kingdom of the Zulu and at Comrades (by a guy who didn’t run the Comrades)”
As mentioned in that piece I would like to take on the mighty marathon before I turn 30 years old (I’m 26, going on 27, if you were wondering).
I was never much of a runner nor much of a fan until I started delving into community sports journalism and began developing megatons of respect for the Benoni running fraternity.
I remember in Grade 11, in a bid to get fit for rugby season, I decided to take on an 800m race at Benoni High School’s Inter-house Day (go Rome!).
I didn’t even have a decent pair of takkies to run the distance so I stole some dodgy looking Hi-Techs from my father’s cupboard and said: “here goes nothing”.
Getting through the first 400m was absolutely excruciating.
“People actually do this for fun?” I pondered.
I did, however, feel much better than some of my fellow ruggers teammates who bailed out of the race at the halfway point and faded into the refreshingly cool shade of the trees alongside the BHS field.
I continued to waddle through the final 400m and eventually claim the brilliant achievement of… (cough) last place.
Fair to say that that was me and running for a few years.
Fast-forward to Benoni Northerns Athletics Club’s (BNAC) Rowlin National Night Race of November 2014 where some buddies and I decided that we would run the 5km family fun run to get some fitness in for our six-a-side football side.
This is probably where that sneaky little bug bit and that “addiction”, which runners always talk about, slowly started forming.
I would run by myself in Rynfield most afternoons thereafter, but I wasn’t really achieving much.
A friend of mine suggested that I try out the Ebotse Parkrun as well as BNAC’s Tuesday time trials at Homestead Dam – it was all downhill (and uphill) from that point.
Soon I realised that I could actually manage this running thing and I was clocking some decent times.
I was running distances I had never run before.
And I was pretty darn happy, too.
Nobody told me about the nipple chafing business though!
Raw nips are not ideal, but part of the deal.
Band-Aid has a new loyal customer.
Anyway… drifting here…
That trip to Comrades 2016 was like a Bic lighter – just the spark I needed.
My longtime friend Kaylin, who made me proud by completing her first Comrades, and the other local runners inspired me to step my game up.
How can you not be inspired by a guy like Rynfield resident Tommy Gibson who completed his first Comrades this year at the ripe ol’ age of 65 years old?
CLICK HERE to read his story
Oh, and the priceless reactions of those who reached the finish at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium also got the adrenaline pumping and the dream juices flowing.
I need to feel that sense of achievement, too.
I need to know what this is like:
Now, I have started running with the dedicated members at BNAC at their weekly club runs and I am improving every time.
I am feeling fitter, stronger and more determined than ever.
I have honed in on some upcoming races that I will be taking on for the first time and going through the process of getting confident, getting better shoes and becoming able enough to do Comrades.
It’s going to be one heck of a journey, but I am helluva excited.
At least I have plenty of time… for now…
Stay tuned for more of these blogs as the journey to Maritzburg 2018 continues…
Sorry, but I’ve gotta go…
I’ve got the runs!
* Please note that this is an opinion piece and that the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Benoni City Times or Caxton Newspapers.
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