Kind mystery runner is ‘overwhelmed’

2015-09-04 10:19
Akash Singh with her Mandela Day Marathon T-shirt after she gave her medal to a fellow runner to give to his son.

Akash Singh with her Mandela Day Marathon T-shirt after she gave her medal to a fellow runner to give to his son. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Mandela Day Marathon runner who gave her medal to a fellow runner to give to his child has been found.

The Witness reported on Thursday that Durban resident Mark Savides took part in the Mandela Day Half-Marathon last Sunday and during the last few kilometres of the race began taking strain with cramps in his feet.

As he struggled on, he said a mystery woman, whose name he later learnt was Akash Singh, approached him and encouraged him to go on, and insisted on staying by his side until the finish line.

Savides said he had mentioned to the woman that the worst part of the race would be his two young sons fighting over who got the medal. At the finish line, the woman handed over her medal to Savides before disappearing into the crowd.

The following day, Savides launched a social media hunt to find the kind-hearted runner so he could thank her.

Singh said when she saw the article about Savides looking for her and the photo of Savides’s two children, she was “ecstatic”.

“When I saw the photo of Mark’s children and the expressions on their faces while they were holding their medals my heart just broke; I was so happy. They are so cute,” she said.

Singh said she saw Savides running in a bright orange Team Vitality shirt and had originally ran up to him to chat about his shirt. “We spoke about the shirt and then just started chatting and he was such a nice person to run with.”

She said when she heard that the worst part of the race for him was his two children arguing over who got the medal she decided she would give her medal to Savides so both his sons would have one. “The finish line was havoc and I lost him and couldn’t find him but I am so glad I found him.”

Singh said she loved making new friends while running races and the running community was like family.

“A similar thing happened while I was running a race in Ballito in May this year. Today, the man I started talking to during that race is my best friend and I know it will be the same with Mark,” she laughed.

Singh said she had been flooded with calls since on Thursday morning and had even received a call from the uMgungundlovu District Municipality who said they wanted to present her with a medal next week for the camaraderie she had shown during the race.

“I am so overwhelmed …” she said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  good news

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