Busy mum beats KZN women home

2009-05-27 00:00

BEING a mother is demanding enough, so you can only imagine what it’s like trying to run a household and the Comrades.

Despite her already hectic scheduled, Kerry Koen, a 33-year-old mother of two from Scottsville, trained hard for this year’s race and crossed the finish line before any other women runner from KZN.

“I didn’t enter with the intention of getting a good position,” said Koen. “I was racing to improve my time. That was my goal, not the position ... It was just an added bonus.”

Koen not only managed to improve her time by 30 minutes, she also managed to come 11th in the women’s race. And being the first KZN woman to finish, she walked away with a cash prize of R10 000.

“That was great,” she said. “But I wasn’t sure what position I was in until I reached the stadium. Spectators along the way, who were counting, said I was ninth or 15th, so until then I wasn’t definitely sure what position I was in.”

Koen said she wasn’t disappointed about coming one position short of the Top 10.

“I did better than I set out to do, so I was really happy about that.”

Even though the stay-at-home mom “is still stiff” from the race, this hasn’t stopped her from sporting activities – or even her daily duties.

“My legs have been too stiff to run, but I did go for a swim this morning,” said the avid runner, who tries to squeeze running in between fetching the kids from school and taking them to their after-school lessons every day.

It’s not as if she has a choice, however. Her six-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, whom she describes as “naughty as can be”, keep her on her toes.

Her son Luke said he was happy about his mom running the race, but he wasn’t very sure if he’d do it himself. “It’s so long, and I already get so sweaty in my shin-pads when I play soccer ... But I’m the second-fastest runner in my class and [Emma] is the fastest runner in her class,” he said.

Koen said that although she is not forcing her children to take part in sports, the fact that her parents “were quite sporty themselves” is an indication that sport is in their genes.

“They’re too young to decide what sports they’ll go into — they’re both very active — but I’ve always encouraged them. The choice is theirs.”

As for aiming for gold, Koen said that although it is every runner’s dream to get gold in the Comrades, she will enter next year with the aim to get silver again.

“Never know ,though,” she said with a laugh.

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