“My name is Zubeida Hendricks and I’m a runner.”
I envision myself surrounded by fellow addicts sharing their stories of personal bests, emotions and pure bliss after completing their challenging races; for now we’ll leave the eating disorders
My story, fellow addicts, is one of courage, bravery and determination! After excitingly telling everyone I’m doing my first half marathon, I was confronted with “is jy mal Meisie?”, “Are you sure?” and my all time favourite “Gaan jy loop girl?”, I figured that the ‘disguise‘ they saw was one of a non-runner. They truly believed that I was incapable of running this race!
So I’ve mentioned before that I learn from every race, this race was solely dedicated to blocking out the inevitable complaints -> ‘die bung maak stories’ and when you hear someone that has been running for years say: “I’m not sure how today is gonna be, I’m nervous.” Surely this will make you reconsider! But too late, I’m already at the starting line… I find the starting bus led by Waleed and we’re off. Not trapping myself in the running hype we move along swiftly, almost ten strong, the numbers dwindled around the 8km mark leaving us to four runners.
“ZUBEIDA!!! Are you alright?“, “yes Waleed” but this was the first LONG distance that I’ve done, the legs reminding me that it will get stiff if I don’t stop… I slowed a bit to develop a strategy, but this was not necessary… It’s like a scene from a movie – you know, where the hero normally thinks all hope is gone and then there’s this turn in events… In my case the pom-poms came out, my glimmer of hope and THIS BURST OF ENERGY soars through me, Zulpha is shaking her pom-poms accompanied with screams of encouragement!
Battling the gale force winds once again we’re almost at Long Beach, the stamina is intact, and the mind tricks have given up trying to control me, we’re up to the last water stop, my favourite in fact… the Itheko crew all smiling and excited that we are passing by. I pay particular attention to my running sisters, Widaad and Adilah, who are excited to see me and I am thrilled that they were waiting for me Ignoring the coke at this point, grabbing a few sachets of water and I tell Ameen to make my legs wet cos I wanna finish this NOW…
Somehow I did not realize the increase in speed till I’ve reached the final camp, eish en Coach Fuad sê nog vir my – not so fast girl, but like an inattentive daughter to a father I ran with all my might- ai the sprinter instinct kicked in finishing with a VERY happy 3hrs23mins.
So I’ve done my first 10km, 15km and first half marathon… This is since October 2010 and already I am looking forward to my first 30km.
To all of you who have managed to read all my stories but are still not coming to Rondebosch common; they say to understand someone you have to RUN in their shoes; I invite you personally, to come and RUN in my shoes to experience the love for running and more importantly to experience my family of Ithekonians.
My love and appreciation goes out to all those who made my first half marathon possible…
Waleed and Shafieka: I have enjoyed this race THOROUGHLY! The scenery, the cheers and the concerns but more importantly I have not complained from 0km to 21.1km. Coach Farouk will be surprised
Khadeeja, jy’s my inspirasie… shukran for pulling me when things were heading on the slow
My running sisters, Adilah and Widaad Salie, instead of sleeping in on Sunday you came to cheer me on and it REALLY boosted my energy.
Coach Fuad, for running the last stretch with me, I’m sorry I did not listen but sprinting is second nature to me Insha-Allah I will try my best to listen next time
To all the Ithekonians, especially pom-pom Zulpha and Taahirah, I really appreciate the high fives and congratulations- finishing strong is all because of you
And as always to my loving husband- Ameen, instead of you running at my pace, I will soon be joining you at yours