Woman runner makes sure Mandela’s spirit lives on

2015-09-03 10:15
A happy Ryan (2) and Jordy Savides (4) with the Mandela Day Marathon medals their dad Mark gave them.

A happy Ryan (2) and Jordy Savides (4) with the Mandela Day Marathon medals their dad Mark gave them. (Supplied)

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A DURBAN man who ran the Mandela Day Half-Marathon on Sunday is looking for a woman who donated her medal to him so he could give a medal to each of his sons.

Mark Savides said he had only run a few half-marathons after his first race last year.

“I was at the 16 km mark and I was really battling with sore feet.

“With 4 km [all uphill] or so to go, I was really taking strain when a lady stopped next to me and said she would run with me.

“I told her not to worry and that she should carry on, but she stayed with me. When I ran, she ran and when I walked, she walked.”

Savides said they started chatting and he discovered that she had run the Comrades Marathon four times and had just started running again after an injury.

“She spoke to me about her daughter and said she was studying medicine in Mauritius and was coming home to visit soon.”

Savides said he started to tell her how the worst part of the race would be his two young children fighting over who got the medal.

“When we got to the finish line and received our medals, she said handed me hers and said ‘Here, now your boys don’t have to fight’, and then just disappeared in to the crowd. My boys went crazy when I gave them a medal each. They were so chuffed and have not stopped playing with them.”

Savides asked that if anyone knew the woman, believed to be Akash Singh, and how he could contact her to let him know as he wanted to thank her.

“If this was not the spirit of the race, I don’t know what is,” said Savides

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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