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Home >> Blog >> Guest Blogger >> Inspiring Runner: Bronwen Verster

Inspiring Runner: Bronwen Verster

  • Half Marathon

At 24, you don't expect to hear the words Arthritis of the spine...After suffering from severe back pain, Bronwen was diagnosed with a degenerative disorder causing a long term loss of mobility in her spine. No amount of pain could stop Bronwen (now 31) from achieving her dreams of running her very first OMTOM Half Marathon.

At the age of 24 I began suffering from terrible back pain. For the following 3 years I struggled to gain weight and was unable to train. At 27 I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, Arthritis of the spine.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. The sacroiliac joints are located at the base of the low back where the sacrum (the bone directly above the tailbone) meets the iliac bones (bones on either side of the upper buttocks) of the pelvis.

Chronic inflammation in these areas causes pain and stiffness in and around the spine, including the neck and back. Over time, chronic inflammation of the spine (spondylitis) can lead to a complete cementing together (fusion) of the vertebrae, a process referred to as ankylosis. Ankylosis causes loss of mobility of the spine.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a cause of back pain in adolescents and young adults.The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is genetically inherited.I started taking medication which enabled me to start training again and I am finally ready at 31 to do my first half marathon.

There is no better one than the Two Oceans. With this disease there are many ups and downs regarding training as some days you feel great and others just walking is painful; but I decided that this disease will not get the better of me. Also recently my mom passed away from complications of rheumatoid arthritis which robbed her of her health for over 40 years so for myself and for my mom I would like to complete the Two Oceans half marathon. As for myself I am 31 years old and live in Potchefstroom.

My profession is Professional Accounting (SA) and I run my own accounting firm. I love animals, the outdoors and fitness (including running, crossfit and horse riding). I have also started obstacle course racing which is amazing. I am currently training (anything and everything) 5 days a week and believe health is wealth!

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