Wolfman keeps running

2018-05-02 06:00
Pieter de Bruin with his huskies.PHOTO: supplied

Pieter de Bruin with his huskies.PHOTO: supplied

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HE is known as Wolfman or the man who runs with four huskies, Pieter de Bruin is a walking miracle, to say the least, held together by pieces of metal after two near death accidents he is still looking forward to this year’s comrade’s marathon.

In total, the Wolfman has run 20 comrades marathons alone and has a total of six silvers with his first comrades being in 1996.

Originally from the Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal, De Bruin had always wanted to move down to the coast. “I always had a dream to come down to the coast, when I got a job this side I jumped on it and moved down here,” said De Bruin.

De Bruin started running in 1994 and was always excelling year by year. “ I would see someone who beats me in my club and make a goal to beat that person and when I do they will never catch me ever again, and I would move on to the next person and that’s how I managed to move from finishing last in my club to finishing first,” said the Wolfman.

Things were not smooth sailing for De Bruin as he was involved in accidents on two different occasions that almost robbed him of his life. “I was on my bike and I was knocked from behind, got sprung up into the air and landed on my back,” said De Bruin.

His back was broken in three places but according to his doctors, he was one of the lucky ones as his spine was protected by his muscles from being fit.

He went through nine months of recovery in total and during that time he would attend races with a huge plastic brace to support his spine while it was healing. Still running for the club Harmony at the time, he then went back to running as normal.

De Bruin was just getting back into his normal running routine and had even started cycling when he was knocked by a taxi near Nyathi Road while cycling in the area, this accident set him back by two years and left him stuck on a wheelchair.

“Here, I broke so many bones, my top part of my leg was broken with the bone sticking out, both my arms were broken and my face, well I looked like an alien, that’s how swollen it was,” De Bruin said.

This accident happened 23 months exactly after his first accident that left him with a back broken in three places.

“At this point I was angry, I was angry with everyone including God. I was asking Him why me, why didn’t he just take me if all these things are going to happen to me, why do I have to experience so many setbacks,” said de Bruin.

During this time many had thought he would give up running as he would never recover but he amazed everyone including his doctors.

On a wheelchair for four months the Wolfman was encouraged by his friend who told him to get up and do what he has to do.

“If your mindset is right and in the right place you can do anything you just have to keep going,” De Bruin said.

When asked how he could encourage other runners that may be going through trials and setbacks the Wolfman said: “I run with Nike for a reason, their slogan is ‘Just Do It’ and that’s that. As runners though we never want to rest but it is important that we take care of our bodies and minds.”

De Bruin continued to say that runners are not machines and when doctors advise taking some rest, to listen to them and rest.

The Wolfman holds double green colours for the comrade’s marathon and will be running his 21st comrades this year.

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