Catching the marathon bug

2015-06-03 06:00
Karen Sobrino wins the Wings for Life World Switzerland race.
 Photo: supplied

Karen Sobrino wins the Wings for Life World Switzerland race. Photo: supplied

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TWICE a year Toti Athletics Club member Karen Sobrino returns to Amanzimtoti.

She is currently in Amanzimtoti after­ completing the Comrades Marathon on Sunday in 7:44.

“I love the weather and lifestyle in Amanzimtoti and although I don’t think I will live here again, it is always home,” said Sobrino, who has established herself as a serious marathon­ contender.

“It was my fourth Comrades this year. Last year was my best time, eight hours. This year my aim was to break eight hours and I am happy. I decided just to enjoy the run from the outset.

“I have been running for four to five years. The bug caught me in Bern, Switzerland, when I did a five-kilometre race.”

A highlight on the running calendar this year was when Sobrino won the Wings for Life World Run Switzerland race.

“There is no finish line for this race, you have to keep running until the car catches you and then you can stop. The car started half an hour after we took off and sped up by one kilometre after every hour, so it was all about how many kilometres you could do before the car caught you. “I was happy to see it as I was only expecting to run 30 kilometres, but managed to complete 43. It was more exciting when I realised there was no one behind me and only 18 men in front of me. A total of 2 934 people entered the race. It was so backwards, normally when you run, you have to be the first one home, this time you had to be last one home.”

On a visit to Miami in January, Sobrino completed two marathons and one half-marathon. She travels with her husband who does business in the United States. “I have won several smaller marathons in States, and am often placed in my age group,” she said.

Sobrino has no set schedule. “I just run every day and I don’t have a training programme anymore. I use to have personal trainer, but performed worse, now I just do my own thing,” she says.

Sobrino says this is just the beginning. “I would like to do many marathons still, like Tokyo and Chicago and I would like to do triathlons and Ironman soon.”

When she was young Sobrino ran cross-country and participated in swimming. Now she aims to do triathlons in future. “I used to swim as a child for Warner Beach and Toti High. I have bought a bike and next on my agenda is to do three-day events like three marathons in three days. I have already entered three for next year.”

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