Inspirational Runner: Willemien Smuts
Willemien Smuts clearly loves running.
An Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon veteran, Willemien has already completed 22 Ultra Marathons (firmly embedding her in the Blue Number Club) and she is about to run her third Half Marathon.
But what makes Willemien’s story extra special is that she is the oldest runner to participate in both the Trail Run and Half Marathon this coming Easter Weekend!
How old exactly? Well, Willemien will be 74 years old on Race Day!
Photo courtesy of Jetline Action Photo.
This plucky lady from Bloemfontein, a member of the Pentagon Pistols running club, only started running when she was 50 years old.
“I love the social aspect of running and being the go-to ‘Tannie Willemien’ to the younger members of the club,” she quips, adding that the younger runners often come to her for advice.
“And although I have enjoyed many thousands of kilometres on the tar over the past 24 years, I have recently discovered new love in the form of trail running! The freedom of running the hills and mountains is just so exhilarating!”
Willemien’s journey to Cape Town turns into a family affair. She stays with her daughter during Race Week and loves meeting fellow runners at the Expo.
“My nearest and dearest think I’m crazy to keep on running, but I can see how proud they are of me and I feel thoroughly spoilt when I’m in Cape Town during race week,” she adds.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to still be able to run. Many men and women my age aren’t as lucky, so I feel really blessed to continue doing what I love.”
Watch out for Willemien when you’re at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Expo between 1 and 3 April, and be sure to cheer her on when she participates in the 10km Trail Run on Good Friday, and the Half Marathon on Easter Saturday.
GO Tannie Willemien!