Mandy Burns, 59851
from zero to hero
My story began last year when my sister in law, Charlene, and I decided to run our first ever marathon.
seemed like a huge feat, but we started training and pinpointed Cape
Town Marathon as the one because of the eight hour cut off time.
During this training we bantered about Comrades, but never really
took it seriously. We ran Cape Town Marathon in September in a time of
4hours and 59 minutes. We qualified for Comrades!
There was no
turning back now and joined by my hubby John and motivated and
supported by my brother Bernie we embarked on the journey of a
lifetime, to finish our first ever Comrades. Then on 22 November I
broke my ankle, a clean undisplaced fracture thank goodness. My
Orthopaedic Surgeon said I could heal and still train for Comrades.
My cast came off on 1 January, rehab
started straight away and training started in February. I was so far
behind John and Charlene on training, but that didn’t stop me, I just
did my own thing and didn’t let their athletic prowess or my sore ankle
get me down.
So it happened that on 29 May the three novices
lined up in H seeding, emotional, scared and very excited. The route
was so much tougher than we imagined, but we soldiered on. We lost
Charlene pretty early on, she went to the toilet and we walked for 20
minutes waiting for her before deciding that we had to push forward.
Later we found out that she was ahead of us, with the crowds we must
not have seen each other.
I put my rose at Lindsay Weight’s
plaque at the wall of honour, I think she deserved it more than Arthur.
John started taking strain at about half way and he told me to carry
on. I hated doing that, but it made sense. I saw you motoring past me
at one point and meeting up with Heather, that brought a smile to my
face. Sorry that even though you were right next to me I never had the
strength to say a word of greeting even though I wanted to. John says
he had a chat with you at some point and was really motivated by what
you told him.
We all finished, unfortunately all separately,
but we took your advice to each run our own race. John made the cut off
by two and a half minutes, I didn’t think he was going to finish and so
the highlight of my race was when I was standing near the finish and to
my amazement saw him running in, that really made my day. Bernie was at
the end to welcome us all in, a welcome beacon of sanity after all the
Thank you for all your wise words and advise, we took it all to heart and it paid off.
External links: Official Comrades Marathon