Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Something on the cover of our local Runnerís World mag caught my eye the other day: ďThe best way to see SA Ė 9 great getaway racesĒ. Iíve never read the mag although my sister swears itís the best resource for runners old and new so I bought a copy...and was gripped with this article and the idea that I need to get a bucket list going.
I love my country and I will boldly state that I believe I live in one of the most beautiful corners of the world...Iíve heard of serious runnerís touring the world with their own bucket lists, doing events such as the New York Marathon or the Berlin Marathon or even the Great Wall of china Marathon, in other countries just because they can. But why not see my own beloved country with a local bucket list of little known and almost undiscovered events?
Page after page, I contemplated the stunning photography of runners in remote or beautiful parts of the country and I finally found my New Yearís resolution. This year I will start my bucket list with at least 3 of these events through the year. My plan is to do at least 3 per year Ė 3 events around the country, most of them little known but some of them exceedingly famous such as the Comrades and Two Oceans, I want to do them all...I will do them all.
This yearís selected events tie in with my goal to run my first marathon, sub 5 hours, by the end of the year...and Iíve chosen one of them to help me meet that goal. Iíve selected 1 other half-marathon to do and then...then I hit a stumbling block. Another event, the third on my list, only accepts 1000 participants, and the ballot pool exceeds 5000 applicants. This is the annual Skukuza Castle half marathon which starts right in the centre of the Kruger National Park. The route winds through the park itself and special measures are taken to protect the runners from our African wildlife...past events have included close encounters with lions and rhinos and even buffalo.
The 2011 ballot has already been drawn so I sent an email to the organiser to enquire about applying for the 2012 draw and got a prompt reply. Thereís been a cancellation, if I can meet the compulsory donation to the Wildlife Fund in the next 3 days, Iím in.
And thatís where my lofty dreams came crashing down...I just donít have that kind of cash. And then I read an old email from SPís Healthy Reflections ďA man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse.Ē
I will find a way. I will do this race; I have one shot at it, one guaranteed chance to get in because of sheer good luck and brilliant timing, and I will find this money. So Iíve sent an appeal to all my friends and colleagues, looking for sponsorship. Itís bold and cheeky I know, but "spunk" is one of the WAYMO words and without it Iíll get nowhere on my bucket list.
So wish me luck friends, I have 3 days to make it happen and make my dreams come true.