Inspirational Runner: Bev Charters
The sudden and tragic loss of her first son left Bev aimlessly wandering the dark and trecherous streets of her grief. See how running helped her to overcome the inexplainable pain of her loss...
We moved to Cape Town 20 years ago and supported the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. I will be doing my 16th OMTOM 21km in 2016. I love this race. We had one daughter, Amy, and at the age of 40 I had a little boy, Luke, who we lost tragically when he was 6 months old.
Running was my saviour, my therapy and my time on my own to grieve. I ran and ran and ran, and at times I felt like Forest Gump. Running was my saving grace. I ran and cried and 20 month. Being a runner we need to be mentally strong as well as physically strong and disciplined and it is this strength that I learnt from running that gave me the strength to overcome obstacles in my life. At the age of 43 I had another son, Brandon, and he is my healing gift. I just love being an older parent. He is now 14 yrs and my biggest fan.
I will be on the start line of 2016 Two Oceans Half and it is the highlight of my year. I have been running for 25 years as a licensed runner, but did many sports at school. My main ones being gymnastics, athletics and cross country. Running has been one of the main factors for healing in my life. The physical benefits from running are enormous for me, but there are so many other benefits as well.
Running is therapy, running is social, running takes us to many places and we meet such amazing like-minded people from all walks of life. When I was 30 something I was sure that I would not be running in my 40’s. Don’t ask me why, but I thought I would be getting a bit old……
Now I am 58 and still running and competing in road and cross country. I have won Gold and Bronze medals at the SA Cross Country Champs in my age group and have represented WP in 10km and 21km at the SA Champs. I am as motivated as I was in my 30’s and when the younger runners see me out there, I know I can be a great inspiration to them.
At the age of 51, having never done a cycle race in my life and not done swimming training since my school days, I entered the Half Ironman in East London and competed in 2011 and 2012. If your mind is right, you do the right training and have the right attitude, you can achieve your goals. I ran in the rain this morning and out there I say to myself “I LOVE RUNNING”.
To quote big wave surfer Chris Bertish “Do not say IMPOSSIBLE, say I’M POSSIBLE”