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Comrades 2012

Jorika Marx

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Jorika Marx, 45445 - Novice

I, as many other runners, never thought that I would ever be able to run the Comrades. My running story started after a bad break up in 2009. I fell into complete depression and was admitted to hospital and placed on medication. While in hospital, I was taught basic life survival skills. I had to eat correctly, sleep enough and exercise. Being over-weight my entire life, those basic skills were a tall order.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it up on my own and decided to join the Benoni Northerns Athletic Club (BNAC) in 2010. This club is no ordinary club. My goal of basic exercise quickly had to change from trying to finish a 10km race to a half-marathon. Running became easier as I became fitter and the weight started falling off. I took a vow to never be so stupid to run anything further than 21.1kms. With every club run, I had to listen to Comrades stories, but I had no tales of my own to share. You can just imagine how it feels to be part of something, but only partially.

There are moments of impact in life, which change our lives forever. The Comrades 2012 date, was that moment of impact in my life. My birthday is the 3rd of June. I made the decision to be part of something bigger. The training and qualifying were amazing experiences in their own rights. I will always be indebted to Bernice Piveteau (green number 19535). She ran my first 21.1km, 32km (Tough One), 42.2km (Johnson Crane) and 56km (Two Oceans) with me. She was always positive and always had a word of encouragement when I needed it. I managed to qualify with an H seeding.

I had some bad ordeals earlier in the year. My home was broken into in and I was high-jacked 3 days before Loskop. Life and running isn’t always easy. You can’t just give up when the going gets tough. My body was put through quite a lot physically and emotionally. I struggled with a knee injury from Two Oceans and was forced to start tapering before I really wanted to.

June 3rd 2012 quickly arrived. The best birthday present was by my friend and Comrades novice, Alvaro Storbeck (51924). He gave up his F seeding to run the first half of Comrades with me. What an amazing birthday experience! We lined up between thousands of other medal hopefuls. The electric atmosphere was tangible. We sang Shosholoza and the National anthem. I have to be honest, I sobbed during the singing. The realization that we were actually going to do this kicked in. We waited almost 8 minutes to cross the start line after the famous cock crow and gun fire. I was very grateful to have Alvaro by my side. Together we explored new territories. My faithful family waited for me along the way with big smiles and words of encouragement. I can honestly say that I never felt like giving up. The Comrades is a long hard race, but so is life. We choose who we want to run with. We choose when we want to walk and refuel. We decide if giving up is an option. I greeted Alvaro at 43kms into the race. I was sad to see him go, but that was the plan from the start. The next 46kms was going to be my own battle. I came out the victor in 11hrs 23min. I am also happy to report that Alvaro finished in 10hrs 35min. 

After meeting up with my family at the finish, I knew that I will have to be back in 2013 to claim my bronze medal.

Life as well as Comrades will never be easy. Learn from your failures and always surround yourself with positive people!

Yours in running,
Jorika Marx (45445)

External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2011