From Comrades 2012 to comrades

Tantaswa Ndlelana who finished the race at 10:59:37, making it just in time for a Bronze medal says ‘€œI started first by going to gym but I never thought that I would run again until Vuyiseka introduced me to running in 2010. The comrades marathon is not an easy task, it was tough, the route was hilly, windy and long but I finished and made it just in time for a bronze medal’€.

Lumkile Sizila says ‘€œwhen I got my first medal it was such a motivating factor for me and I wanted to do more. Running comrades marathon has never crossed my mind until I started running with the TAC runners for health comrades’€

Vuyiseka Dubula (TAC General Secretary) who finished the marathon in 10:48:59 said that ‘€œdoing the comrades marathon came up as joke a between me and Mark Heywood after he learnt that we were starting a running group at TAC in Cape Town. The marathon was the biggest test to my will power to fight, solidarity with other comrades and not to underestimate my mental and physical ability. The TAC ‘€œHIV POSITIVE’€ bib did the talking because people alongside the road were calling ‘€œgo HIV, go HIV!’€ and some came closer to say ‘€œwe are proud of you, thank you’€. The support of our families, friends, and people of KwaZulu-Natal was amazing’€

Mark Heywood, was running the comrades for an impressive 13th time, finished the race in 10:48:58 and said that ‘€œThis Comrades was probably my most enjoyable. Running with a team is better than the loneliness of a single runner.   Running with comrades is better than running with a team! This race is inspirational. It’€™s the best of the diversity of democratic South Africa all packed into a day. I have now done this race 13 times. I will be happy to take another TAC team on my 14th’€

These are the finishing times for the all team members:

1.             Lumkile Sizila:                                                     10:39:11

2.             Vuyiseka Dubula:                                             10:48:59

3.             Mark Haywood:                                                   10:48:59

4.             Thanduxolo Mnqgawa:                             10:54:59

5.             Tantaswa Ndlelana:                                       10:59:37

6.             Mosuli Qhaba:                                                       11:05:29

7.             Akhona Dutyulwa:                                         11:52:26

8.             Sharon Ekambaram:           ran for an impressive 10:02:37 with a backache and had to pull out of the race eventually.

This would not have been possible without many people who have supported the TAC runners for health namely Cynthia Tshaka from HIV Sports Heroes who supported our runners with accommodation in KwaZulu-Natal and return flights for all runners. We would also like to thank the following people and clubs for their donations Emi Maclean for the running gear from America, ATC club for running gear and shoes, Kudus running club that has raised R3300 so far for TAC during their call to support TAC runners by donating to our organisation. We cannot forget the amazing support that we have received from Faizel Slamang who kept all the TAC runners for health supporters informed though his updates on the ‘€˜runners, walkers and cyclists for health’€™ facebook page.

The objective of the Runners for Health group is to encourage other activists and ordinary people living with HIV to take up running and other forms of exercise. HIV does not have to stop you from living your life.  

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  • Health-e News

    Health-e News is South Africa's dedicated health news service and home to OurHealth citizen journalism. Follow us on Twitter @HealtheNews

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