On September 4th I ran a half marathon to raise some money for SA-YES. When I entered the stadium where the start and the finish line were located, I saw several people running almost a whole lap over and over again and I asked myself if it makes sense to run before a half marathon to warm up. I mean, isn’t there enough time to warm up when you run 21 kilometers? At that day it was hot anyway and it felt like 250 % humidity. So I rather sat down and sent a text message to Julie that I was ready for the race and that I hoped my calf would hold out until the finish line. Because of a strain I wasn’t able to run for three weeks and I continued my training just two weeks before the race. So I wasn’t sure if I could finish the half marathon. But at least I had a very impressing shining blue tape on my calf that looked really professional.
The start was at ten and the first kilometers were ok. I ran an average time of five minutes per kilometer, which is way to fast for me. But the calf didn’t hurt so much and I had a challenge to win, so I kept on running knowing that I would slow down anyway. The challenge was to run the half marathon in under two hours. For each minute I would get ten pounds from a friend of mine for my fundraising for SA-YES. So I was highly motivated to run as fast as I could.
After about five or six kilometers a woman ran beside me and asked me how fast I was running. She said that her clock didn’t work so she didn’t know how fast she was. She thought that my speed would be right for her and she asked me if she could run beside me. After some time she couldn’t hold the pace and fell back a little. But suddenly she was beside me again and said “I don’t want to lose you.” Then she fell back again. Because of my challenge I did not want to wait for her, knowing that she would catch up with me anyway when I had to drink something. Because of my paralyzed vocal chord I cannot run and drink at the same time anymore. So I have to interrupt the running when I need to drink something.
The first ten kilometres I didn’t drink anything so I wouldn’t lose so much time but it was so hot and humid that I badly needed to drink some water. When I continued running, I saw the woman again and we ran together for quiet a while.
When I entered the stadium I saw the clock at the finish line. It said 1:53:30 and I thought, if I speed up I can make it under 1:54. So I made a “ten-pounds-final-spurt” and made it eight seconds before the next minute began. At the water station I met that woman again. We were both happy that we finished the race.
I really enjoyed running this half marathon especially because I knew I did it for SA-YES. I am so happy that there were so many wonderful donors who sponsored me and who helped me raise money for SA-YES. I think Michelle and her mentors are doing such an incredible job in South Africa. I will definitely continue to support SA-YES as long as I can.