It’s never too late to get up off the couch

2016-11-23 06:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

WHO remembers those heady days in South African Athletics when, during the late 1970s and 1980s, we spent Monday nights glued to the TV, watching atletiek (athletics) on SABC?

TV was new to most of us and some of the limited live broadcast time covered the athletics events around the country.

Running legends Johan Fourie, Matthews “Loop-en-Val” Motshwarateu (so named for his forward leaning style), Matthews Temane, Johnny Halberstat and others wrapped most evenings’ excitement as they chased each other around the tracks in the mile.

Any breaking of the four-minute barrier was greeted with great excitement by commentators and households alike.

So, what happened to track and field athletics? They took a back seat during sporting isolation. The focus changed. Comrades Marathon and, later, Two Oceans became the focus of running achievement in South Africa.

Elana Meyer, 10 000-metre silver medallist at the 1992 Olympics, commented that the regular questions were:

“Do you run Comrades?”

“No.”

“Do you run Two Oceans?”

“No.”

“Oh, so you’re not a proper runner, then?”

The South African mindset changed. A marathon (42,2 km) is considered only a stepping stone to the ultimate goal. Many people run marathons almost every weekend in their build-up to the Comrades Ultra Marathon, to put it in the correct perspective.

By comparison, most of the rest of the world focus on the marathon as their ultimate goal. Many train for a year or longer with a view to participating in one or other of the major marathons such as New York, Athens, Boston, London, Berlin, etc.

Many of the international running publications carry columns from contributors featuring “My first five miles” or “My first 10km”.

The focus is changing, again. South Africans are realising, again, that running is, in itself, a goal. Starting with five kilometre Saturday ParkRuns, the movement is swelling. Many South African marathons now offer shorter options as well. The Witness Maritzburg City Marathon, powered by Clover and Khayelihle, was one of the leaders in this concept, starting 21 years ago with a 21,1km half marathon to complement the marathon. Now you have the option of a 10km too. The generous, by South African distance running standards, time limits make this the ideal entry level event to challenge yourself at any of these three distances.

Each day, The Witness carries the next step in novice training to complete the 21,1km or 42,2km. Coach Norrie Williamson will add the novice 10km training programme beginning mid December.

It’s never too late to get off the couch and join the movement to healthy living and fitness. Set your goal to be a part of the 21st Maritzburg City Marathon experience at the end of February 2017.

Run or walk alongside folk from around the country and across the world. You don’t have to go far or fast — you just have to go.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.