Another year later on Saturday, the same feeling i had every year for 10 years. Anxiety, nervousness and phantom pains. I Had to keep on talking to myself and convincing myself to be strong. That I had it in the bag. I trained hard and i had to trust my training. I Went to bed early as i knew it was going to be a restless night. My alarm rang at four am, I knew this was going to be a long , long day.
I Got to the start @ 5.15 am. Thousands of people already in their seeding pens. My hair stood on end, as the chariots of fire played, i knew that there was no turning back, it was my own war, a battle that I had to win. My game plan was to be at the half way mark @5 – 5.15 hrs, I said a little prayer and off i went, it was already hot in Durban and i had to remind myself to start consuming liquids.
3 km down the line, I met one of my running buddies Mehmood Patel, I knew he was a sensible runner, we ran more or less the same pace, so we decided to run together. We worked well together, when I took strain he encouraged me, and visa versa. We worked on each others strengths and weaknesses. It was hot and tough. The hills were merciless. The idea was to keep on moving forward. With a little complaining, we did just that.
Our club supporters made our journey so much easier, just to see smile on their faces and motivating us to move forward helped us get to the finish line. I was really so proud to be part of Jozi X. Our hard work payed off and everything went as planned I got to Drummond at 5.06. We met Faizal Abrahams just after the half way mark, he also joined us, the three of us worked hard together, to keep pace as the temperatures soared. My sister Hanifa was waiting at Camperdown, it was just as well as we were taking strain. She was amazing as she ran with us for about 800 m talking to us and motivating us, we forgot about our pains and continued forward, walking half the hills and running all the downs. We stayed with the sub 11 hour bus from about the 87km mark. Running with a huge group made our task so much easier as they sang an chanted, this certainly took our minds off the pain which no doubt every runner experienced at this stage. The kilometer boards came quickly, at two kilometers to go, I was elated as I knew that this was a comfortable bronze. The stadium roared as we ran in. I felt like a winner, we ran in strong and I felt really ecstatic that Mehmood, Faisal and I, stuck with each other to the end.
I felt proud to have run my eleventh comrades. I am so grateful to have ran with such great company, and to have awesome friends. I am truly blessed.