1. Talk to us about your year to date and how it’s been going?
It has been going really well. I have been so blessed both in sport and personally. I ran a successful SA Champs on the track and then I paced at the Two Oceans half marathon in April. After that, I started preparing for the World Championships in Paris in July this year and we were fortunate enough to bring back a silver medal in the 1500m. This despite an injury: I tore the ligaments in my right ankle three weeks before my world championships race. We were fortunate to be able to run and push through this. I am getting married in October, so very much looking forward to that. Or let me rather say, when lining up for the African Bank Soweto Marathon half, it will be my first event as a married woman and I am super excited about the next phase in my life. Running is such a big part of my daily routine, however, it is crucial to embrace all other aspects of my life: My family, fiance, guide dogs, friends, and career, and count the blessings I have.
2. Last year you ran the 42.2km Soweto Marathon. Tell us about your experience?
It was a truly incredible event for us. The people really stepped up again and supported the race as always. There is this very encouraging and happy vibe all along the route between runners, organisers, and then the amazing supporters. You really get to experience South Africa through this race. I found the organisation to be great and the marshals were really supportive, helpful and friendly. I had an amazing experience.
3. Why the 21.1km this year?
We will always want to compete or be part of the African Bank Soweto Marathon in some or other way. Whether it is as supporters, the 10, the 21, or the 42km. This will be Claus and my 4th Soweto Marathon event as a team and we are thankful and very excited to be back. The reason for choosing the Half is because it fits perfectly into our training schedules as well as where I will be fitness-wise.
4. What races are you training for currently – both in terms of the build-up to the African Bank Soweto Marathon and races after your half marathon on 5 November 2023?
Our races for the rest of the year will be the Spar Women’s race in Johannesburg, the African Bank Soweto Marathon Half Marathon, and The Tough One at the end of November.
5. This years theme is “Dare to run your own race” – focusing on what motivates you, what race are you running in life, what do you love about running, how can you motivate others to achieve their best (I am sure many hundreds will run their first 10km or first half or first marathon – and that takes courage etc).
I think it is always important to run your own race because no race is the same and no individual has the same circumstances. So physically running your own race is important, however, mentally one should also run your own race. When you compare with your peers, let that motivate you and not discourage you. You know what you did in training and what you have control over, for the rest you have to believe and then achieve. Set targets that will motivate you and inspire you to reach your own goals. You can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t ask why, ask why not!
6. How fantastic it is having a new headline partner in African Bank? The Importance of having a sponsor so that this race can be bigger, better and best?
I think it is amazing that African Bank has partnered with the Soweto Marathon. A title sponsor is vital to the success and sustainability of any race. It means a lot to South African runners, organizers, volunteers, and supporters that the people’s race will be able to continue growing stronger and better. Thank you African Bank.
7. What advice would you give to those wanting to achieve PB’s on race day (10, 21 or 42km)? Any advice on when to eat, what to eat, how to warm up, how to battle through the pain etc.
Make sure you hydrate properly, it will probably be hot. On the 21 and the 42km, make sure you practice your nutrition before race day, have a plan for race day, stick to that plan, and don’t start too fast. The routes are tough, so be aware of that. Remember to look around you and take in the vibe. It’s a privilege to be part of the Soweto Experience, in an athlete or supporter capacity. Thus draw your motivation and strength from everybody around you.