I was privileged to run OMTOM 2018 as part of the Rare Diseases SA team, and the journey does not stop there. But let’s start at the beginning. I started running just over 2 years ago, inspired by a dear friend Bruce Campbell, by his amazing athleticism, overcoming his obstacles, “#Pompe” and tackling some of the most rigorous races in South Africa as a rare activist and rare warrior.
I ran for Bruce, inspired by his passion for sport, and his battle with Pompe. I decided to do something different. Heading into the start line, the comments were already flying, and photos were taken nonstop… it’s now that I knew, going into #OMTOM 2018, (with minimal training) that, it was not my purpose to win, but make a bold, very very bold statement. Clad in a bright blue, full body skin tight Lycra suit, this was to be a challenge. For two reasons, I couldn’t see anything till the sun was up, and the heat would be most unbearable.
However, not as unbearable as some of the pain and suffering some Rare Disease patients endure. I have run many races before, but this was a first for me, running through Newlands, shacking people to react for me, to create awareness, did, well exactly that! the runners, the crowds, on lookers, volunteers loved it. The run was OK, I never fainted, I did drink as much water as I could. I remember running past Ipeleng Khunou, who was born with Septo-Optic Displasia. We shared a few brief hello’s, and he cheered me on! At this point I knew, I would be making a difference.
The last few KM, were the toughest, at this stage, I was drenched head to toe, but this did not stop me. I had to finish. I had to run the Two oceans, the whole way in the mask! On entering the last 500m, I came across two of our Rare Activists team members, and they lovingly, linked arms with me on either side, and we ran through the shoot, side by side, knowing we ran for a good cause. Not only did I make a bold statement, but the amount of love and comments, from everyone, made it more memorable, knowing I have made a difference. it’s something I challenged myself to do, now, to do the Full marathon next year! Maybe in the blue suit again….)
Till next year… keep running, keep challenging yourself, and keep making a difference!