On the 17 Dec 2015, the day that marked my mums 70th birthday, a seed had been planted that marked a journey. The journey of 4 sisters, 1 dream- comrades 2016.
It was a journey in which four lives bonded in ways that it never had before. It was the journey of the individual and yet the journey of a family. The unbelievable journey that bonded four sisters in ways that is difficult to explain, each one of us with our own strengths and weaknesses.
Farhana Madhi, a mum of 3, 11 times comrades runner and two times iron man competitor our inspiration, motivator and mentor who believed in her siblings and brought out the best in them.
Tahera Vallee, mother of four, whose relentless perseverance and determination to just qualify was a lesson for all of us. We all qualified at Sasol but she really was sad as struggled to make the cut off.
Sadiya Valli, mother of three, who had just 6 months of running under her belt, with sheer stubbornness she made her mark as she completed two ultras and two marathons. Her focus and steadfastness epitomised the courage she had shown.
Hanifa Ebrahim, mother of 3 little kids with an injury determined to push beyond limits on every level physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological to take on the challenge of running the Ultimate Human Race.
Each one of us fought our demons to make it to that start line. As with most women we had to fight to make the training and persevere to continue and see ourselves to the start. The guilt of not being there when our kids woke up in the morning or the heart wrenching plea of kids who would say ‘you not running today mum it’s still night time.’
The moments of sheer exhaustion as you try and keep it together for that last bit of homework only to know that 5:15am is yet another training run.
The journey of tears, magical laughter, fear and courage as we chatted running over family dinners, birthdays and get together to the point that the kids were asking if there was anything more to life than running. The sharing of advice, history, articles and seminars and yet none of us were experts.
And than it arrived. The moment, the day, the hour, the minute and we all secretly feared what if one of us did not make it. Truth be told the odds were against all four sisters making it at one go. Who was to be that statistic?
The morning was marked with tension, anxiety, fear but love, sharing and togetherness. A togetherness never seen before, as we supported one another to get to the start.
The amazing support and love we received from the rest of the family our parents, brother and sister in law who held the fort back home as we embarked on this trying but historical moment, was encouraging.
A journey that began with a morning prayer and the sound of the national anthem vibrating through our adrenaline filled bodies Our hair stood on end and our hearts swelled with pride, standing next to fellow comrades runners but more pride and respect for the unconditional love and support we showed each other, the journey of uncertainty, hopefulness, perseverance and strength began.
Through the blessings of the almighty, Farhana was able to accomplish her personal best, a sub 10 hour finish. She relates how she was forced to challenge her negativity and ask herself if she really wanted this. She pushed to keep going and achieve this dream.
It was a nail biting finish as Farhana waited with bated breath for the three sisters to enter. With 30 min left to cutoff sheer panic began to set in. Eventually, Sadiya galloped in with Hanifa arriving shortly after her. The feeling of pure joy and elation was cut short as Tahira had still not arrived, 15 min to cut off. A short prayer, where was she?…. She’s got to make it. It was nerve wrecking.There she was just in her own calm and composed manner she made it… Just a few minutes to spare. We made it!!!! Never had we been so proud. 6 of us from one family completed the ultimate human race. One dream- One goal- Comrades 2016. Conquered!!!