” EVERY WORTHWHILE ACCOMPLISHMENT, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: A BEGINNING, A STRUGGLE AND A VICTORY. ”
2017 A year to remember
How can it be 10 weeks to Christmas, where has the year gone?
Its been an incredible year, one of learning, growth, chances, victories, triumph and disappointments. Ive learnt that when you get knocked down, you just HAVE to get back up again and when you up, you stronger than before.
“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about”.
I want my actions to inspire others to dream more, do more and become more, if I can, so can you. NO path is easy, no journey is a plain sailing but fighting for what you want and never giving up shows just how much it means to you and how much you will give to achieve it.
My year didn’t quite start off how I’d expected. After coming back from knee surgery in 2016, spending months building strength and training for a marathon AND over the Christmas season I might add, when everyone is on holiday, and sipping on cocktails while you go off for your third session of the day, certainly isn’t for the feint hearted, but I did it.
Dubai marathon with food poisoning is not an ideal way to race and left me with my first ever DNF (did not finish). I was bitterly disappointed and determined to prove my fitness. Back in SA I decided to go to a local 25 km downhill race, what a bad call that was. I got very over excited and absolutely smashed the downhills. I was fit all right, possibly too fit for an aggressive down hill race like that. I picked up a very bad foot injury and out was for 4 weeks.
It’s not all bad, what doesn’t kill us certainly makes us stronger. My year did a great turn around in April when I debuted in my first ever ultra marathon, a race I’ve always wanted to run, the worlds most beautiful race, The Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and managed to pick my name up again, haha. Its was a magical day, a race I loved from start to finish, ok maybe not the last 2km’s but it certainly is a race ill cherish forever.
After the Two Oceans I didn’t really take much break before heading back into the Spar ladies races, its always so awesome to run this 10 km series. They are so well organised, very elite races with ALL the speed queens of the road and I enjoy mixing it up there too.
In July I was fortunate enough to be invited to race the Mauritius half marathon. Who wouldn’t want to go to a tropical island to race?? WELL, tropical racing it was indeed. NO such thing as sunshine and palm trees on that island while I was there. I raced in torrential rain and wind, so much so that it was so hard to see where I was running. I remember having to clap my hands as I run in fear that the stray dogs may bite me. Ok , ok… I’m abit of a naff when it comes to dogs while I’m running, purely because I’ve been bitten before. Anyway I did eventually swim my way to a strong finish and a won it in a new record time which was truly magical.
A month later, in August a dream came true for me as I headed off to London to represent South Africa at the WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPS for the marathon. Putting on my South African kit, standing on the start line on Tower Bridge with my husband, my physio and good friend Matt there to cheer me on was something I’ll remember forever. It was one of the hardest races of my life yet one of the most rewarding when I crossed that finish line, it would have been impossible not to smile. That day a dream came true, I represented my country with such pride, I showed my girls what hard work, dedication and commitment can lead to. I had done it, I had made my daughters proud, myself proud and left my poor husband with a few more grey hairs but lucky for him it suits him (my very own George Clooney).
It certainly has been a great year, a busy, full year, a hard year of training and it was time to rest. I am of course not just a runner, I have a lot more to my life with my three little girls and finding the balance is so important. I took a full three weeks off all sport and dedicated my time, energy and love to my daughters and husband. They do so much for me in my journey and I felt like I really needed time to just be mom and to be there for the girls and their sport. It was a fantastic break and filled my tank both emotionally and physically.
I started running again four weeks ago and truth be told I felt like a total spastic spider runner, no rhythm or fitness but I’m glad to report I’m finding it again and that flame is burning bright.
I LOVE RUNNING, its my sport, my passion and my sanity. It sets my soul on fire.
I ended my season off on a high last weekend in Cape Town. If you know me you will know how much I love racing in the mother city. It holds a special place in my heart and winning my 3rd Gun Run 21 km title in a row was an amazing cherry on the top of a fabulous year.
Thank you to my incredible team for everything you do for me, for helping me achieve my goals and making my dreams come true. An athlete is only one small part of the whole team, without my team I would not be where I am today. (You know who you are).
Today I raise a glass, to make a toast THANKING MY TEAM. You are more than just a team to me, you have become like family and it’s an honour to have you in my corner.