Die-hard runner’s passion

2017-03-21 06:02
Photo: suppliedWarren Kidgell is a determined Comrades runner, family man and professional.

Photo: suppliedWarren Kidgell is a determined Comrades runner, family man and professional.

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WITH the reputation of being a die-hard marathon runner, Hillcrest’s Warren Kidgell has earned many accolades.

He has run five Comrades Marathons, attaining silver medals, with a best time of 6:39. He won the Leicester City Marathon in 2011 and earned silver at his first Two Oceans last year in a time of 3:48.

In addition, he was awarded the Hillcrest Villagers’ Male Athlete of the Year award in 2016.

The 38-year-old father of three said his passion is running, and more specifically, the Comrades Marathon.

“I grew up in the heyday of Bruce Fordyce and was so inspired by his performances in Comrades that it left an indelible imprint on my conscience.

“I am an active member of Hillcrest Villagers Athletics Club and enjoy training hard and racing hard,” he said.

Kidgell’s dream of being a runner started in primary school, but ended quite abruptly.

“I would do well in the inter-house athletics days, winning a few middle and long-distance races. I would also do well in the inter-school cross-country races, normally placing in the first three.

“However, after finishing school, I was not the epitome of good health. I smoked 20 to 30 cigarettes a day and drank a fair bit. I ran one Comrades in 2003, when I was 24. At the time, I just wanted a Comrades finish and had a long day to finish in 10:33. I then gave up running.”

He said that by mid-2008, he had put on 25 kg and decided to take up running to try to lose the weight.

“I immediately took a strong liking to it. It also helped that I had quit smoking by this stage. After starting to shed the weight, in 2010 I decided to do Comrades again. From there it just snowballed as my times improved and I became more dedicated to the sport.

“One of my greatest role models is Bob de la Motte. He was an incredible athlete and did it all while holding down a full-time job as a CA, much as I am, and juggled the family life of raising three young children, just as I am.

“I have read his book and can’t help but be inspired by his dedication to his family, his work and his passion for running.”

Describing himself as “determined”, Kidgell said he is most proud of his family. “It is amazing how much pride and pleasure your children can bring to you,” he said.

He said the youth should never accept the status quo.

“Nobody ever achieved anything without trying, so you will never know what is possible to achieve until you have set out to attempt it.

“Trust me, you will surprise yourself with what you are capable of if you commit wholeheartedly to something,” he concluded.

Kidgell’s wife Kelly shares her story on life with a runner on page 5.

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