When I think about how I ended up running the 2016 comrades marathon I realise that it was not my decision at all! Circumstances and events just led me to the morning of the 29 May, in Pietermaritzburg, singing chariots of Fire and the national anthem.

It was never my intention to ever run the comrades marathon, but, walking back to my car after a dismal Om Die Dam HALF marathon in 2015, battered, bruised and injured me. I started talking to a runner who had done the comrades a couple of times, who suggested that every South African should run the comrades at least once.

I thought to myself, if I’m serious with training, maybe, I could run the comrades marathon in 2017!

I posted this on my Facebook page, to make the commitment real. While trying to enter for the Two Oceans Half Marathon, the page kept freezing – so I got fed up and just entered for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon.

I ran my first marathon in January 2015, in order to qualify for the Two Oceans Ultra. I finished just before cut off time. Well, I was excited to have finished my first marathon and qualified for the two oceans.

A lady from my gym invited me to start running with her and a couple of other ladies in my area in the mornings – and I believe this was a game changer for me. I also got invited by a young friend of my, who’s become the little sister I never had, to start running with nrc in rosebank – another huge game changer!

I learnt a lot about running through these associations and the training became fun and social. After a couple of races, I ran the Two Oceans Marathon, thinking that I would then rest.

The ladies I was running with in the mornings were preparing for the comrades, and different people I chatted to suggested that I get a substitution entry and do the comrades this year, instead of 2017.

I started thinking maybe I should.

I got a substitution which worked out perfectly, with accommodation for everyone I would’ve loved to come support me. This was extra special.

Now I just felt like everything is being handed to me- there is no excuse for me not to run the comrades marathon in 2016!

I still cannot tell you how many km’s of training I did for the 2016 comrades marathon.

The NRC coach was super supportive, giving advice on what to do before the big C, tapering, nutrition etc.
Thank you coach Peteni for your support and for freely giving of your time.

You don’t come back from running comrades the same. Projects I had been procrastinating for years to get going, are now in full swing….

Nelisa Ntshinga
More than anything, the Comrades marathon taught me so much about myself. Things I always knew about myself, but had forgotten somehow.

Running has led me to meet the most awesome people, from all walks of life.

I have received so much support from so many different people, even on race day, I ran in a bus that made it super easy for me to get my bronze medal. I knew I wanted to enjoy the race more than chase time ….. and I got exactly that.

I am grateful for all the people God put on my path to encourage me, give me advice and support me, invite me to races and training runs I didn’t even know about….

I’ve been encouraging my friends & family (and anyone who cares to listen) to run the comrades at least once – “but be prepared for your life to change…. ” I say

I wonder if that’s even possible, to run it once, because I’m already looking forward to my back to back …. and…. let’s see what happens.