“After joining a sports retail store in Woodmead, I was fortunate to have met a runner and amateur boxer named Phillip Zwane, who was working in the running department.
Phillip introduced me to running in 2009 and we started training together, running from the Joburg CBD to Woodmead in the mornings and on some afternoons.
By November of that year, he introduced me to Eskom Gijimas Athletic Club which I then became a member of. I remember running my first 15km race later that year.
In 2010, I progressed to half marathons and full marathons. I also did my first ultramarathon, Om Die Dam, at Hartebeestpoortdam in North West.
I attempted my first Comrades Marathon in 2011. I was aiming for a sub-11hour finish, with this being my first Comrades which was an Up Run. To my surprise, I crossed the finish line in Pietermaritzburg in 08:40:00, a sub-9 hours finish which earned me a Bill Rowan medal. That remains my Comrades Personal Best time.
I left Eskom Gijimas a year later and joined Makana Athletic Club, a club that I am still running for. Since running my first Comrades Marathon in 2011, I have never looked back and have never missed a race.
Come Sunday, 14 June 2020, I’m looking forward to completing my 10th race and collecting my Comrades Green Number thereafter. Geez, I cannot wait!
My family and friends have been very supportive of my running but my wife is my number 1 supporter who always goes down to Durban with me every year.
When I look back on the years before I started running, I realize that I have always been inspired by Comrades runners and watching it on television every year was huge. I never thought that I will one day be part of those multitudes of athletes.
My hat off to Phillip Zwane; even though it’s been more than 5 years since I last saw him and unfortunately lost contact after changing jobs.
I am humbled by the support we receive as runners from the CMA, its sponsors and supporters on the ground; as well as the various media houses and everyone who are involved in The Ultimate Human Race.
The winner of this month’s Arnica Ice hamper is Joseph Adam.