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Why Do I Run? by Gugu Zulu

  • Half Marathon

My initial introduction to the Two Oceans Marathon came through my girlfriend Letshego Moshoeu who signed me up for the 21km, three years ago. Now I am not much of a runner, but prefer to keep in the gym and occasionally do the odd 10km races now and then. I was more of the support structure behind her, you know, the Welcoming Committee.

When I started dating Letshego, I knew she had a love for running. When she enrolled at TUT, she joined the running crew and started running for the university. Soon she was invited to run for Gauteng North. This meant that all weekend would be dedicated to waking up early and going to running races. Since I was the loving boyfriend I supported her fully as the welcoming committee at the end of the race.

On some training days, I would take her to Kyalami Race track so she could run. I tried hard keeping up with her but she was simply too strong for me - so much so I decided to use my bicycle to keep her company. Needless to say, in 2007 she registered to run the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. We were about 5 months away from the event. I soon found myself getting bored being the spectator, so I decided to also run. I found that the shorter distances were not at all that bad..... my legs did carry me through.

Letshego then secretly registered me into the 21km Two Oceans Marathon. I thought I was being the good boyfriend by driving her down to Cape Town, only to arrive at registration and find a race pack for me. Letshego had done a substitution with one of her clients who could no longer run. As I had no running kit with me, she again, secretly bought me some kit and found myself lining up with thousands of people ready to tackle the streets of Cape Town and the beauty that is the Two Oceans Race. Needless to say, my race was filled with awesome cheers by people lining up the streets, it felt like I was on the red carpet at the Oscars and people were shouting and cheering me on – the feeling was amazing. The area we ran in was simply beautiful and colourful.

I managed to finish the race with about 30mins to spare after stopping at every water point and even taking photos during the run – the atmosphere was simply electrifying. I found myself helping others on the run who were either cramping or simply too tired. Following my run, I then had a couple of hours to wait for my dearest 1st Lady who had a great first Two Ocean Marathon Ultra and was able to watch and cheer her on as she crossed the line. Following hugs, kisses and photos – we both agreed that the Two Oceans Marathon will always be part of our yearly calendar.

So I guess the big question is why do I run – I guess in truth, I run to support my dearest 1st Lady and share in the passion of the outdoors. The atmosphere at the race is simply amazing and something I wish to experience for as long as possible. I run for leisure and to be part of something special!

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