Mar 16, 2020 0
- Mar 19, 2019
- in News
The tough get going at the 2019 Tzaneen Tuffy Marathon
So we went to the beautiful and scenic Tzaneen for the Tzaneen Tuffy again. After the pain, rain and sweat of last year, one would think we might have been persuaded to stay away this time around. No! Not us. We were determined to go back and turn the tables on those painful uphills and those downhills you'd just love to hate. 2018 had been tough. So we had prepared. And we were ready.
Then, lo and behold, it was even tougher than last year. The organisers had changed the course slightly.
But the effect was not slight. One could have been tempted to be grateful for the extended downhill run to the turning point after the first 2.5 km of mixed ups and downs. But as every runner knows, for every downhill there is an equal and violently opposing uphill. Thus it was that a good 7.5 km continuous uphill lay in wait for us on the way back for the half marathon (21.1 km). Still, we huffed and puffed, endured and enjoyed the pain, the rain and the sweat.
The words of the legends Ndivhuwo Victor Manena and Frederick Mavhunduse rang in our ears, "The uphill shall be your friend. Embrace it, don't fight it." We tried to befriend it, to embrace it, to be gentle with it. But the uphill had other ideas. It pummeled us. It was merciless. Planned running strategies found windows and ran out. Run-run became run-walk and eventually walk-walk. Targeted times remained that, targeted. But we still wouldn't yield.
The thought of the medal, hanging around the neck - a worthy token of achievement. The irony of feeling joy at the pain in our legs and bodies. That drove us towards the finishing line. But even more, driving was the idea of the pictures and selfies we would take celebrating yet another run completed. Another fitness milestone. And some more pain inflicted on self. This time around there was even a lot more to celebrate.
Two comrades completed their first Tzaneen Tuffy marathons (42.2 km). Another comrade completed his first Tuffy half marathon, and yet another one his first ever race with a 10 km finish. And saving best for last, my best half, my chihwitsimoyo, Mamoyo Eustina Batisai completed her first ever 10 km race at the Tuffy too. On a personal level, I missed my target by a good 11 minutes. But more telling, is the fact that I crossed the finishing line a good 14 minutes faster than my previous Tuffy best. But the highlight remains, Mamoyo crossing the finish line.
Lastly, making running a daily routine or a part of an active lifestyle can be a daunting task, dare I say even more daunting than the Tuffy. But for us, some partners deserve special mention for making it a breeze. The folks at Soutpansberg Athletic Club are always hovering, encouraging and pushing. Special thanks also goes to BuyOut Online for the Gear Fit2 tracking devices and hydration packs.