Inspiring Runner: Marielle Muller
Growing up on a farm with three older brothers makes a girl tough. But Marielle learned the hard way, that no matter how tough you are, you cannot prepare for the loss of a loved one. Read how the comradery of a televised marathon motivated Marielle to get back on the road and deal with her grief...
I grew up on a Farm in Northern Natal, as my dad was a farmer and my mom a home executive. I loved growing up on a farm and would move back any day. I have 3 brothers, 2 older and the other my twin.
I matriculated from Vryheid High School in 2004 with four distinctions. The highlight of my Matric year was qualifying for KZN Champs in the 800m and coming 2nd. It was the best 800m I had ever run. I was also awarded the Victrix Ludoroum at our Athletics meet at the beginning of the year (2004).
After school I studied a few things but eventually realised that I wanted to become a Personal Assistant. After studying I moved to Johannesburg to start my career as a Personal Assistant.
After 2 years, however, I decided I wanted to travel and see the world. This is where I then saw the opportunity to work abroad as an Au Pair, as it is a great way to experience a different culture and earn enough money to travel. From 2011 to April 2012 I Au Paired in Germany and in 2013 I Au Paired in New York, USA. Finance has always interested me and while in the US, I did a few short courses in accounting and finance.
Since 2014 I have been working in Finance and currently work in the Accounts Department at UTi.
Running to cope with tragedy
I have always enjoyed running, but family tragedy early in 2015 caused me to stop.
My dad passed away in March 2015, which was a devastating blow. Then, a month later, dad's Jack Russell - that had been with our family for 14 years and then moved to Johannesburg with me - was killed a month later when she got out the gate and was run over. I collapsed. Losing two loved ones in the space of 2 months was just too much for me. I simply couldn't run any more - partly because I was still grieving my dad's passing, but also because running reminded me of how my little dog would always follow me.
But the memory of my dad - coupled with watching the Comrades on TV in May - prompted me to resume my running journey. I thought it would be a great challenge to run both the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Comrades in 2016, which fits in perfectly with my dream of running the Comrades the year I turn 30.
I did the Soweto Marathon in November, but it didn't go as planned due to the heat. But I am confident that I will do much better in my other marathons.
I will be doing the Two Oceans Ultra to help with my preparation. It will also be my first time to Cape Town, so I am really looking forward to it!
These races will be run in honour of my dad. He was always so proud when I crossed the finish line in all sporting events I did.
See you in March!