Do you remember you first race?
I remember my first race very well, even training for it. It was a half marathon in 1981, the SABC Road Race in Johannesburg. My dad got our whole family to run that day. My dad, my brother and I ran the half marathon and my mom and two sisters the 10km. I was 17 and still at school. I remember at the start I felt very small and young between all the runners. When I saw a runner with his permanent Comrades number on his back I thought I was totally in the wrong place. I felt like a complete amateur between all the “pros”.
I was very new and dumb with the whole running thing. I remember the first water point. They gave me a paper cup with water, but I wasn’t thirsty or didn’t feel like drinking it. So I poured it over my head. The water was ice cold and took my breath away. That was probably one of my first running lessons.
I also remember the route going past a fire station and the firemen had hoses out and were spraying the runners. Then I remember the last 3km or so going up a very steep and very long hill. I walked a lot here and eventually finished in 02:15.
That was my first official race and first half marathon, 29 years ago. I received this badge for finishing.
It was a fantastic day and our whole family finished the races we ran. I have now completed 381 half marathons. I’ve finished a total of 1274 official races.