Inspiring Runner: Douw Prinsloo
The realisation that he needed to make a major change in his life was the guiding force that helped Douw to lose weight and start his journey along the path to running...
My journey started way back in 2009 when I woke up one morning and decided NOW is the time to take charge of my life. At that time I weighed a staggering 133kg.
I started training with a personal trainer and chose the hard way, the natural way - no shakes, no pills, no nothing - just hard work! Let me fast forward - I did my first 5kg run/walk in January 2011 and today, 6 years later, I have lost 53kgs, I have run all the distances between 5km and 90km.
I have done both Two Oceans Half and Ultra Marathons and did my back to back Comrades in 2015. I have also done two international runs, the Bangkok Marathon and recently, on 18th of October 2015 I did the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada.
My journey to Canada was about more than just myself. I supported the Steve O'Brien Foundation. There I met with the legend, himself, and also did two runs with him while he was busy with his Cross-Canada Relay for Youth. I had an opportunity to spread the love and inspiration when I was invited to be the guest speaker at a "Wild about Wellness" health and wellness networking group in Hamilton, ON.
My journey was not an easy one, I had my challenges, but I committed myself to using my life and my journey to inspire others to also live healthier and better lives; to become better versions of who they were meant to be.
This year I did the Two Oceans Ultra, but I ran it as a test run for Comrades after many months of battling with plantar fasciitis. I did not finish the Ultra in time. I came in 7 minutes after the final cut off, but this run was not in vain.
Firstly I got to help a guy make it to the end after he wanted to quit at around 12km to go. I told him quitting was no option. I told him that we were NOT going to make it in time but we were going finish this race! Maybe not in time, but we finished every single km of the 56km.
Secondly, I realised that I was able to deal with the pain; I was able to run through it and this made me more determined to line up for Comrades on 31 May 2015; and I did. Two Oceans made it clear to me that I had to change my race plan for Comrades: I was going to run a steady pace of around 8 minutes per km and continue to the end and go get that back to back medal. So I did exactly that. I crossed the finish line with three minutes to spare before the 12 hour cut off.
After being part of the Run For Bibles project of the Bible Society of SA in 2015, I have since started my own charity drive under the banner #Run4BibleRands.