Amputee friends tackle the Midmar Mile twice

2014-02-10 00:00

TWO childhood friends, Frank Korb from Welkom and Gerrie Mans from Boksburg, were among the thousands of people who finished the Midmar Mile yesterday afternoon.

What set Korb and Mans, both 59, apart was that they both had their left legs amputated.

“We were both in motorcycle accidents two years apart and we each lost a left leg,” Korb told The Witness as they collected their medals after finishing their men’s 31 and over race.

“Mine was in 2007 and his was in 2005. We weren’t really swimmers and we decided to get into it after losing our legs. We’ve done quite a few,” he said.

Speaking of the race, Korb, a pharmacist, said: “It was lovely. The water was a bit choppy and we knew we wouldn’t swim the times we wanted. But we finished. We swam in the disabled race yesterday and we decided to swim again today.

“We always plan to swim twice.”

Swimming with one leg is not easy, Mans, an accountant, said.

“You swim with your arms and your legs don’t contribute. The biggest problem is with the balancing. Because we only have one leg, we don’t have the other foot to counter the weight,” he said.

Korb said: “You come here and you see people with no arms and no legs who finish the race. It’s really humbling to see that. It makes you realise how fortunate we are to have limbs.”

In the race for the physically disabled on Saturday, Mans managed to finish in 23rd place, while Korb came in at 27th. The two friends said they will definitely be back for next year’s Midmar Mile and like in other years, they will again tackle two races.

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