Najmunesa’s first 10K at the Lion of Africa event
When I first visited the LOA Itheko website about two months ago, I saw the “Salih at the Philadelphia Marathon” story. Boy, was I impressed, but at the same time I had a feeling of “this is not for me” and “I can’t run”. It’s amazing how we always make excuses about why we can NOT do something instead of attempting it. Attempting it with the outcome of success in mind is the challenge!
Two months ago I tried my hand at running. And I enjoyed it from the first day! At one stage I thought I would die, but never did I think “this is not for me” or “I can’t run”. Cause I can!
On Saturday 4 February 2012, I did my first 10km race, The Lion of Africa 10km race, two months after joining LOA Itheko. With the encouragement and support from Faadiela Jardine and Zarina Meyer-Brewer, I attempted it. Faadiela had me at “I’ll run with you”.
Apparently, at the start, I looked anxious and nervous. Me? Nervous? Never!
At the 1km mark, I couldn’t believe it was only 1km, it felt like I’d been running forever. Faadiela and Zarina encouraged me about this being the hardest part, and for me to keep at MY pace throughout. They didn’t however allow me to slow down at any time.
At 3km, I could feel I was warmed up, and ready to continue and finish.
After passing a snake, I realised I need to get out of this neighbourhood, fast. Soon I realised I was at 8km. My only thought was… I’m on my way to my car! Amidst the camaraderie of the 21km runners and supporters, I didn’t realise when passing the 9km mark. This gave me motivation I didn’t think I’d have at this stage of the race, as the temperature was now increasing.
Faadiela and Zarina in tow, I needed to finish, quickly. I teared up just as I entered the field (no-one saw this) … but it was truly a sense of achievement.
Thank you to my mascots Faadiela and Zarina! I would really not have been able to do this without you guys. This is only the beginning… J
Thanks LOA Itheko.